Al-Shabab's recruitment of Somali youth in America is a threat to U.S. security.
The Star Tribune reports, Mohamed Farah, the Executive Director of a Minnesota-based organization known as Ka Joog told that to Congress on Thursday.
Farah told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Al Shabab preys on "disenfranchised" Somali youth, and that there needs to be more resources devoted to stopping the ideology. Federal law enforcement officials estimate that at least 20 young men have left Minnesota to join Al-Shabab since 2007.
The Associated Press reports, that Farah said he believes the U.S. should spend some of the millions of dollars it spends to fight terrorism overseas, on efforts toward recruitment prevention at home.
Farah's comments come amid concerns amongst U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies about the possibility that Al-Shabab may be plotting attacks on the United States. The organization has been blamed for killing dozens of shoppers and injuring hundreds during an attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, two weeks ago.
Businessweek reports, that the associate director for international security and defense policy at Rand Corp, Seth Jones said the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi demonstrated Al-Shabab's growing capacity to conduct sophisticated operations. Jones also said there is reason to be concerned because the group has demonstrated that it has the capacity to strike outside of Somalia, is targeting the United States, and has been recruiting inside America.
Minnesota is home to the nation's largest Somalian emigre population.
The Mall of America announced last week they were boosting security following the attack in Nairobi.