Are Somalis Being Targeted in the US by the FBI?

From The Militant (April 9, 2009):

FBI targets Somalis in
Minnesota ‘terror’ raid
(front page)

BY TONY LANE
MINNEAPOLIS—In an ongoing “antiterror” campaign aimed at Somalis the FBI raided three money-transfer businesses here April 8. The raids took place at two south Minneapolis malls where Somalis shop. Many Somalis use money transfers to send funds to relatives.

Similar raids were conducted here and in other cities in November 2001 against money-transfer businesses the government claimed provided funds to “terrorist” groups.

Abdirahman Omar, the general manager of Mustaqbal Express, one of the businesses raided, said 15 agents spent about five hours poring over records and interviewing employees. “They were collecting every receipt, money wires and banking statements,” Omar told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

An FBI agent confirmed the searches occurred but refused to give any details, reported the Tribune. The paper said one of the search warrants was filed in federal court in St. Louis under seal. It said the FBI was seeking information regarding money sent to “any person, business or entity where such transfers were destined for locations in: Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and United Arab Emirates.”

The raid comes on the heels of wide-ranging interrogations by the FBI in March targeting the Somali community. These included questioning and visiting individuals in their homes, at educational institutions, and at airports. To justify the interrogations, the FBI has been using the excuse of “disappearances” of some 20 local Somali youth, who the bureau alleges have gone to fight for the al-Shabab Islamist militia in Somalia.

The Tribune reports that more than a dozen Somalis have been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury. (See article “FBI targets Somalis in Minneapolis” in April 6 Militant.)

The interrogations have prompted the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to send letters to area high schools, colleges, and institutions asking for legal support to Somali students who have been questioned on campus by the FBI. CAIR said students have reported that federal agents have approached them in libraries and while they are walking to class. The agents have questioned them without lawyers present.

No word yet on if the FBI will be using their network of resources to aggressively track down the Italian and other European firms who contracted with the Mafia in order to dump haz-mats in the waters off the coast of Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.  One can assume that there are numerous Italian-American communities that could be targeted with vital information that might lead to a prosecution.

Somebody here knows something.  Right?  Fuggedaboutit.

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