FEDS: Twin Cities man behind Somalia bombing
The FBI and Homeland Security are investigating whether Shirwa Ahmed had developed a terrorist recruiting network in the area.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS learned that Ahmed came to the Twin Cities in 1996 and graduated from Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis. He was a naturalized U.S. citizen.
More than a dozen young men of Somali descent, mostly in their 20s, from the Minneapolis area have recently disappeared, U.S. law enforcement officials tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. All are thought to be associates of Ahmed. U.S. officials suspect most of the young men have departed for Somalia to fight in ongoing violence there or to train in terrorist camps. Family members of the young men are said to be distraught, trying to figure to out what happened to them, sources say.
So far, the investigation has not uncovered credible evidence of a plot targeting the U.S. but American officials want to track down all these young men before they can say for certain what this is or is not, according to ABC News. Sources say the situation is being closely monitored by senior law enforcement and intelligence officials in Washington.
CIA Director Michael Hayden recently voiced his concern about increased fighting in Somalia and the Horn of Africa and the desire of Al Qaeda to strengthen it’s ties in Somalia.
“In East Africa, Al Qaeda’s engaging Somali extremists to revitalize operations,” said Hayden. “And while there clearly has not yet been an official merger, the leader of the al-Shabaab terrorist group is closely tied to al-Qa’ida. And the recent bombings in Somalia may have meant, at least in part, to strengthen the bona fides of this group with al-Qaeda’s senior leaders. A merger between al-Shabaab and al-Qa’ida could give Somali extremists much needed funding while al-Qaeda could then claim to be re-establishing its operations based in East Africa. That’s a base that was severely disrupted about two years ago when Ethiopia moved into Somalia.”
Source: KSTP news