Sunday, July 24, 2011
Congressman King Plans Third Islamic Terrorism Hearing; Will Examine Al Shabaab
By Jim Kouri, Law Enforcement Examiner
U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, announced that on Wednesday, July 27, he will convene the third in the series of hearings on radicalization of the Muslim-American community.
This latest hearing will be titled: “Al Shabaab: Recruitment and Radicalization within the Muslim American Community and the Threat to the Homeland.”
King said: “In our first two hearings, the Committee has examined radicalization of Muslim-Americans generally and focused on the problem of radicalization in U.S. prisons.
“At this hearing, the third in a series, we will examine Somalia-based terrorist organization Al Shabaab’s ongoing recruitment, radicalization, and training of young Muslim-Americans and Al Shabaab’s linking up with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)," King noted.
In Minnesota, Ohio, and other states, dozens of young Muslim males have been recruited, radicalized, and then taken from their communities for overseas terrorist training by al-Shabaab. In a number of cases, the men – including both Somali-Americans and other converts -- have ended up carrying out suicide bombings or have otherwise been killed, often without their families even knowing where their sons have gone, according to the veteran congressman.
"There has not been sufficient cooperation from mosque leaders. In at least one instance, a Minnesota imam told the desperate family of a missing young man not to cooperate with the FBI," King stated.
There are growing concerns that Al Shabaab in Somalia is linking up with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen to better train these radicalized young Americans in order to attack Americans around the world, or potentially shift their focus to attacking our homeland.
This coordinated and ongoing recruitment and radicalization of young Muslim men in the U.S. is a serious and growing threat to our homeland security and simply cannot be ignored, say several counterterrorism experts.
The indictments of 14 terrorism suspects in the United States have opened the eyes of many government officials to the danger brewing in Somalia: that this beleaguered African nation may turn out to be the new Afghanistan.
The four separate indictments in April in the District of Minnesota, the Southern District of Alabama and the Southern District of California charging 14 individuals with terrorism violations for providing money, personnel and services to the Somalia-based terrorist organization Al Shabaab, a group allied with al-Qaeda.
Police sources said the men planned to wage jihad as part of the Somalia-based Islamist terror group with several thousand fighters spread throughout Somalia’s southern region. Al Shabaab, whose full Arabic name means "Mujahideen Youth Movement," already has strong ties to al-Qaeda, according to national security experts.
In a statement that came as no surprise to U.S. security and law enforcement experts in January 2010, the Somali-based Al Shabaab announced that its fighters are aligned with al-Qaeda's global terrorism campaign. The deadly group said in the statement, broadcast by Al-Jazeera television, that the "jihad of Horn of Africa must be combined with the international jihad led by the al-Qaeda network".
The group's statement also announced that its militants had joined forces with a smaller insurgent group called Kamboni, another radical Muslim organization.
That group is reported to be based in the southern town of Ras Kamboni. Kamboni's leader, Hassan Turki, is accused of funding terrorism and terrorist groups, a U.S. intelligence source told the Law Enforcement Examiner.
The Somali Al Shabaab claims its primary focus for now is uniting all Islamist terror groups and their supporters in order to create a Muslim state, or Caliphate, in Somalia to be ruled according to Sharia law.
The group's reign of terror includes public beheadings and stonings.
In a December terrorist attack in Mogadishu, Somalia, Al Shabaab terrorists killed and injured innocent civilians at a graduation ceremony for Somali medical students. The attack also resulted in the deaths of the Ministers of Health, Higher Education and Education of the Somali Transitional Federal Government.
"This was a criminal attack on people dedicated to building a peaceful, stable and prosperous future for the people of Somalia," United Nations officials said in their condemnation statement.
"While the UN should be expected to condemn such barbarism, calling it a 'criminal act' is wrongheaded and treats an act of war as if it were a bank robbery," said former Marine intelligence officer and New York police detective Sid Franes.
Unfortunately, Somalia has not had even a facsimile of a central government since 1991, and its police and military are fearful when confronted with groups such as al-Shabaab.
In an intelligence analysis report, several security experts said they believed the Somali-based pirates are helping to fund Al Shabaab operations.
Also, Somalia's police spokesman, Dhexe Abdullahi Hassan is quoted as saying that al-Qaeda was the prime suspect in a smuggling operation involving counterfeit notes after international financial institutions starved the terrorist group of all money supplies, according to a report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police's Terrorism Committee.
Al Shabaab is becoming a serious threat to African nations that are secular democracies.