In a pattern that has long been noted in Europe, the U.S. is now seeing
many Moslem-Americans leaving the country and taking up the cause of Islamic
terrorism overseas. In this case, a 28 year old naturalized American citizen of
Somali descent, was recently identified as a suicide bomber, who killed himself
in an attack in Somalia last month. The FBI has since discovered that a dozen
or more Somali men have, well, disappeared, and may have ended up in Somalia.
This is not new, however. Expatriate Somalis in North America, Europe and
elsewhere have been supporting the various warring factions in Somalia for
years. Family and tribal ties are strong in Somalia, and remain strong even
when Somalis migrate.
On the down
side, one of the more powerful factions in Somalia is the Islamic Courts, which
enforces Islamic law in order to bring some sense of peace and stability to the
country. The Islamic Courts are run by Islamic conservatives, some of whom are friendly with Islamic terrorists and
al Qaeda. This prompted the U.S. to back clan leaders and warlords who oppose
the Islamic Courts (which are dominated, in turn, by a few clans and tribes).
American Special Forces have been inside Somalia collecting information, and
found that the Islamic Courts provided al Qaeda with an opportunity to
establish bases in Somalia.
ago, the UN looked at the situation and reported that the Islamic Courts have
been receiving money and weapons from several Moslem countries, including
Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Egypt, Eritrea, Djibouti and Saudi Arabia. At the
time, the UN believed that the core of the Islamic Courts fighting force
consists of about a thousand Islamic militants, many of them Al Qaeda
members. Some of these gunmen were Somalis
who had gone off to fight for Islamic terrorism in other countries. But now
that the Islamic Courts had plenty of cash, they were able to hire these
experienced fighters, and get them to return to Somalia. This recruiting effort
also brought in volunteers from Somali immigrant communities abroad.
expatriate Somalis support the Islamic Courts movement, but many of those who
do believe that Islamic radicalism is the cure for Somalias problems (mainly,
no government for the last two decades, and centuries of tribal warfare before
that.) Expatriate Somalis who return to try and help, are all faced with the
threat of tribal violence, or banditry. Money and expatriate volunteers can't
do much to solve this problem, thus the appeal of the Islamic Courts. While
many of these expatriate Islamic Courts fans do not support al Qaeda, they
justify, or at least tolerate, Islamic radicalism in Somalia because they see
no other solution to the country's problems.
been some non-Somali Americans who have gone off to join Islamic terrorist
groups, but there are not a lot of them, especially compared to Europe.