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October 24, 2014

Family: Minnesota Somali man left to join al-Shabab

Another young Somali man in Minnesota has gone to Somalia to join al-Shabab, his family says, renewing fears that the terror group is still recruiting Somalis living in the U.S. to return to their homeland to fight, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Abdirizak Bihi (pictured above), a member of the Minneapolis Somali community, spoke to the AP after talking with the family of 21-year-old Omar Farah of Minneapolis.

It was a striking new development in the story of the connection between Minnesota and the terror group, which has been evolving for years. Still, there have been no public reports of travelers from Minnesota since 2009, the AP says.

In one older case, Mahamud Said Omar, 46, a former custodian at a Minneapolis mosque, is preparing for trial in federal court to begin Oct. 1 on charges of conspiracy and providing material support to al-Shabaab, the Pioneer Press reported. The group is waging an ever-diminishing campaign of violence for control of Omar’s native Somalia, the newspaper reports.

MPR produced an interactive timeline that tells the story of young Somali men trekking back to Somalia to fight.

And it’s not only men. Two Minnesota women who claimed they were helping the poor in Somalia were convicted last fall of conspiring to funnel money to a terrorist group as part of a pipeline that took money and fighters to al-Shabab, the Associated Press reported.

You can follow more news about al-Shabab on CNN’s topic page.