By Richard Schmitt
Somalia, a country in East Africa has suffered from civil war for many years. 200,000 Somalis fled to the US; 70,000 of them live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area in the largest settlement of Somali refugees in the US. Many of these refugees came as children, often without parents. They graduated from high school here. Many are now in college. They have become American citizens.
The FBI has conducted a major investigation of the Somali community in recent years after 40 young men “disappeared”–supposedly they returned to Somalia and joined a radical Islamist organization that is trying to take power in the country. One of the young Somali-American men died on a suicide mission in Somalia last October. The FBI is asking who persuaded these young men to return to a country they barely knew since they, after all, had been children when they left. Many of them are said not to speak Somali any more. It is clearly important to find out who is persuading these young men to leave Minnesota to return to fight for a cause they are unlikely to understand fully. Continue reading When America falls short