New al-Shabab video urges Minnesota Somalis to action


Officials believe a new video released by the terror group al-Shabab is aimed at Somalis in Minnesota, essentially giving them three choices: Fly to Somalia to join the group; carry out a "lone-wolf" terror mission; or continue living a life in the West "deceived by the devil," the publication Homeland Security Today reports.

The video, just short of 3 minutes long, appears to be aimed at a Minnesota audience because it features the image of an airline ticket for travel between Minneapolis and Mogadishu, law enforcement officials say.

The video, posted to YouTube Tuesday and then removed, later was re-posted by another group, MPR News reports.

The video urges more attacks like those carried out by "the brothers in Westgate Mall," last year in Kenya, where at least 67 people were killed.

A speaker on the video slams those who choose to live in the West: "Deceived by the devil, you live among them, same job, same school. You befriend them. Judgment day is near."

Al-Shabab is "very active" in using social media as a recruitment and propaganda tool, Middle East Media Research Institute Executive Director Steve Stalinsky told Homeland Security Today.

The video is one in a series of attempts by al-Shabab to draw young men to the group, Minnesota law enforcement officials have said. Mohamed Farah, director of a Minnesota-based organization that has fought al-Shabab’s recruiting efforts, told a congressional panel last fall that the group poses a threat to U.S. security.

"Al Shabaab has taken every possible measure in full capacity to cloak their ideology with an appealing message to our youth. They have targeted the disenfranchised, marginalized, and socially estranged youth with a message of restitution infused with religious righteousness," Farah told lawmakers.

Meanwhile this week, the Associated Press reports that a 24-year-old former Minnesota woman who lied to a grand jury about her role in fundraising for men who left to join al-Shabab in Somalia was sentenced Wednesday to three years probation.

Saynab Hussein, of Nashville, Tennessee, was remorseful during a sentencing hearing in a Minneapolis courtroom, the AP reported.

MPR has reported more in depth on at least 23 men who lived in Minnesota who went to Somalia to join al-Shabab between 2007 and 2009.

CNN last fall explored how al-Shabab has tried to recruit in the "fertile ground" of Minneapolis.

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