Seattle, October 10, 2009 Ė ó In a visit to the
Seattle field office Thursday, FBI Director Robert Mueller warned of the
dangers posed by outside attempts to recruit and radicalize young
American Muslims, but wouldnít discuss an ongoing investigation into
reports that a young Somali man from Seattle was involved in a suicide
bombing that killed 20 in Mogadishu last month.
Mueller said he didnít "talk about particular investigations." His more
general comments reflected testimony he has provided to Congress on the
issue, in which he has said these recruits ó who travel for terrorist
training to Somalia or Pakistan ó pose a special threat here because
they may have access to U.S. passports and are familiar with Western
Mueller said communities being targeted by the radicals are "every bit
as patriotic as any other community in the United States," and urged
members to cooperate. "They are a substantial part of the solution to
this," he said.
In May, Mueller told members of the House Judiciary Committee that the
bureau was aware of "young men from communities in the United States,
radicalized and recruited here to travel to countries such as
Afghanistan or Iraq, Yemen, or Somalia" for terrorist training and to
fight, often for groups affiliated with al-Qaida.
He delivered the same message before the Senate Judiciary Committee two
weeks ago, after a long summer that saw several major terrorism cases
emerge, including the bureauís attempts to confirm that a young Somali
man from Seattle was one of a team of suicide bombers in Mogadishu in
The directorís comments about the bureauís efforts to penetrate and
cooperate with Muslim communities were less enthusiastic than those he
offered Thursday in Seattle. The Somali community, in particular, has
proved "more insular" than some, he told senators.
As many as 20 Minnesota Somali men are believed to have been recruited
by al-Shabaab, a terrorist organization with links to al-Qaida, and at
least three have died. Last fall, 27-year-old Shirwa Ahmed from
Minneapolis blew up himself and 29 others in a suicide bombing at a
United Nations checkpoint in Mogadishu.
In July, a 25-year-old graduate of Seattleís Roosevelt High School,
Abdifatah Yusuf Isse, pleaded guilty in Minnesota to providing support
to terrorists in connection with U.S. recruitment efforts by al-Shabaab.
Earlier that summer, federal authorities received information that Ruben
Shumpert of Seattle, an African-American who converted to Islam in
prison, was reportedly killed in a U.S.-supported rocket attack near
Mogadishu. Mueller also briefly discussed the unsolved slaying of
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Wales, who was gunned down eight years
ago this coming Sunday in the basement of his Queen Anne home.
"For the last eight years, it has been a priority case," Mueller said.
"It continues to be a priority case."
Source: The Seattle Times, Friday, 09 October 2009