Some of you plagued with white guilt, part of the issue here in Somalia is religion, which means they were killing each other over this topic for many centuries, long before Canada existed.
Unlike the old days, immigrants could not go home, now they can and with the internet and other meda allows them to keep on top of events occurring in their old country. A land they are attached to and cannot easily let go of. Like the Toronto 18-who were born in Canada, they retain old ties.
Somali-Canadian women targeted by terrorist group's recruiters (external - login to view)
U.S. committee warned western recruits could be used in attacks at home
By Ian MacLeod, Postmedia News July 28, 2011
Terrorist recruiters are targeting young Somali-Canadian women to take up arms, the head of the Canadian Somali Congress said Wednesday.
Testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, Ahmed Hussen suggested the reason may be increased attention by police and security services to recruitment of "dozens" of young Somali-Canadian men from Ottawa and Toronto in recent years.
"Lately, the recruiters have turned their attention to the facilitation of young Canadian Somali women into joining al-Shabaab," Hussen said.
Al-Shabaab is the Somali youth militia affiliated with al-Qaida, which controls swaths of Somalia. Canada and the United States have banned it, calling it an outlawed terrorist group.
Much of the youth recruiting is believed to be through the Internet, via an online mix of religious tracts, rap music, videos and recruiting pitches delivered in English. Visiting extremist clerics are another propaganda source.
The fear, said Hussen, is that al-Shabaab will employ Canadians and other westerners to extend its terrorist reach outside the war-and famine-ravaged East African nation, where it is battling a weak westernbacked government to turn the country into an Islamic state.
"There is no shortage of foot soldiers and young men that al-Shabaab can recruit in Somalia," Hussen said during committee questioning.
"Why would they spend all this money, effort and [put themselves] at great risk to recruit westerners, people who hold Canadian, U.S. and British passports?
"It's because we think they have aspirations beyond East Africa. They've proven that by attacking Uganda," he said, referring to an attack last year where two suicide bombers killed 79 people gathered to watch the FIFA World Cup final on television.
U.S. officials are increasingly expressing concern, too, after capturing an al-Shabaab commander who, it's alleged, had been a liaison with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, a Yemeni group that has tried to strike U.S. interests.
New York Republican representative Peter T. King, presiding Wednesday over the third in a series of controversial congressional hearings examining the radicalization of MuslimAmericans, said committee investigators have determined that 40 Americans and 20 Canadians have joined al-Shabaab in Somalia.
King said three Canadians, whom he did not identify, and at least 15 Americans have been killed in fighting. Previously, only one Canadian death was suspected, that of Mohamed Elmi Ibrahim, a University of Toronto student whom al-Shabaab said was killed "in battle" last year. He was the first of six Somali-Canadian men who reportedly disappeared from the Toronto area in 2009.
Some 18 people have been charged in a scheme to recruit young people from the Minneapolis area to travel to Africa and join al-Shabaab.
Canada's first arrest related to al-Shabaab was in March, when police detained Mohamed Hersi, 25, as the Canadian was waiting to board a flight from Toronto to Cairo. Police allege his ultimate destination was Somalia and al-Shabaab.
Hussen has said previously that in addition to the "Somali Six" from the Toronto area, he has been told two young Ottawa men, as well as two young women, also left for the Horn of Africa nation. His prepared text Wednesday, citing unnamed Canadian national security officials, referred to "the disappearances of dozens of young Canadian Somali males who had travelled to Somalia to fight for the al-Shabaab."
In his testimony, Hussen portrayed Canada's estimated 200,000 Somalis as struggling to fit into mainstream society since fleeing civil war in the late 1990s. Almost 85 per cent of Somali-Canadians are under the age of 30, with unemployment in Ottawa and Toronto hovering around 40 cent in the group. Many young men have dropped out of school.
"A minority becomes alienated and fall victim to a narrative that turns them against Canada and the United States - the very countries that have sustained them and also gave refuge to their parents as they fled the brutal civil war in Somalia.
"This dangerous and constant anti-western narrative is fed to them by radicals in our community who do not hesitate to use these vulnerable youth as gun fodder in their desire to establish a base for the al-Qaida terrorist group in Somalia," he told the committee.
Police and intelligence work is not enough to counter the threat, he said, nor is working only with religious leaders.
"You need to target the young professionals, people who are coming up, people who are dedicated to the values that have made this country great. Those are the people who have the credibility to turn back against the messaging that leads to radicalization."
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun