Tags: Somalia | war | bent | civil

Somali Islamic Group Bent On War

Monday, 07 Jun 2010 08:51 AM

WASHINGTON — The Islamic extremist group in Somalia that two New Jersey men were seeking to join when they were arrested in New York on Saturday has recruited several hundred foreign fighters to help wage an intensifying civil war in a destitute East African country, American officials said on Sunday.

But interest in the movement, Al Shabab, among American recruits appeared to have waned in recent years as news spread in Somali communities in Minneapolis and other cities that some of the recruits had been killed.

“Since the 2007-2008 period, when foreign fighters were flowing in, you haven’t heard about too many other Americans going there,” said Andre Le Sage, a senior research fellow who specializes in Africa at the National Defense University in Washington.

About 20 Americans have joined Al Shabab, and at least half a dozen have been killed in fighting in Somalia, according to their friends and relatives. Law enforcement officials fear that the recruits, often young men in their 20s who hold American passports, could be tapped to return to the United States to carry out attacks here, though so far there is no evidence of any such plot.

The arrests Saturday were the latest in a growing number of radicalized Americans who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses. They include Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized American citizen accused in the failed car bombing in Times Square last month.

“We have seen an increasing number of individuals here in the United States become captivated by extremist ideologies or causes,” John O. Brennan, President Obama’s counterterrorism chief, said last month.

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WASHINGTON — The Islamic extremist group in Somalia that two New Jersey men were seeking to join when they were arrested in New York on Saturday has recruited several hundred foreign fighters to help wage an intensifying civil war in a destitute East African country, American officials said on Su
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2010-51-07
Monday, 07 Jun 2010 08:51 AM
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