Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

March 11, 2009

Somali-American Threat?

Filed under: Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on March 11, 2009

This morning the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs conducted a hearing on the recruiting of young Somalis into a nationalist movement opposed to the Ethiopian occupation of the Somali failed-state.  The Committee was especially concerned regarding the potential for recruiting Somali-Americans as agents of  violent extremist groups who would attack US interests at home or abroad.

While acknowledging such a possibility requires ongoing attention, the witnesses were consistent and in agreement that there is no body of evidence to suggest anything like a strategic recruiting of Somali-Americans for terrorist sleeper cells or similar fifth column elements.  Rather, the witnesses went to some length to explain the current situation was one of disaffected youths being attracted to fight for the Somali nationalist cause on the Horn of Africa. 

You may access the prepared testimony at the Committee’s website.  The topic and testimony is receiving significant attention from the major media, including CNNBloomberg, and  Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

If you were at the hearing or listened to the webcast, I hope you might give particular attention to the CNN report linked above and compare the first ten paragraphs to what you heard.  I understand how this lead compels attention.  I also understand how this lead could be derived from the prepared testimony.  But – is it just me – or do these ten paragraphs communicate almost exactly the opposite tone that the witnesses so carefully communicated during the hearing?

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1 Comment »

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 12, 2009 @ 8:47 am

NPR had a Somali story this AM strongly suggesting organized recruitment but relying on the testimony of Parents of the missing youths. Not sure if any parents testified in the hearing.

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