Today a 23 year old Somalian –American woman pleaded guilty to one count of perjury in federal court.
Saynab Hussein admitted that she lied to a grand jury after an investigation regarding Somalian-American men who were leaving Minnesota to join the terrorist group al-Shabab. During the investigation and ensuing trial in 2009, Hussein said that she didn’t know anything about people who had raised money to support these men and their visions of Jihad. Now Hussein admits that she was one of the people who helped fund these men so that they could return to Somalia and engage in deadly terrorist acts.
Two other women, Amina Farah Ali, 33 and Hawo Mohamed Hassan, 63 were found guilty of conspiracy to provide material support to al-Shabab from September of 2008 to July of 2010. These two women went door-to-door asking for money to feed hungry children. People generously gave money to these women, and the funds were turned over to al-Shabab. For more information on this case, see the following link-
Saynab Hussein faces a MAXIMUM of five years in prison for these perjury charges. If she had been born in any other country, she would no doubt be deported, but as Somalia is a war-torn country whose government is unrecognized by the United States, she will in all likelihood be free in a couple years.
Since 2007, there have been at least twenty Somali-American men who have left their homes in Minnesota to go fight for al-Shabab. One of these men had a job pushing wheelchairs and otherwise assisting people with disabilities at the Saint Paul Minnesota airport. As part of this job, the man was able to walk through the security checkpoints many times each day with his shoes still on, and he had access to private areas of the airport that are closed off to the general public. This man left Minnesota in 2007 to become a suicide bomber in Somalia for al-Shabab, but many of his close friends, fellow Somalian-American friends were still employed at the airport in various capacities.
It is estimated that there are somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 Somalians living in Minnesota, (the largest population outside of Somalia itself.) They came as refugees looking for jobs, and Minnesota’s strong non-profit network of social services funded many programs to get this new population acclimated.
Many Somalians have thrived in Minnesota. With hard work and community support, many of these refugees have started their own businesses and have been a successful example of “The American Dream.” Others have not been able to assimilate into such a drastically foreign culture, and have instead fallen back on the methods that were used in their war-torn homeland. Human trafficking in the form of a Somalian prostitution ring was discovered in an FBI sting in 2010. For more information about this case, see the following link-
But perhaps the saddest form of Somalia American crime is the Somali on Somali crime. As is true for many immigrant populations, people in the Somali community can be very close knit and come to know a lot about each other. Therefore if one family is working hard and making themselves successful, it is likely that others in the community know of their success. In some cases, Somalian gang members have been known to terrorize fellow Somalian families by breaking into their homes, taking them hostage and stealing everything in the home. Many refugees have had such horrific experiences with the corrupt police force in their homeland that they are hesitant to contact police when they are victimized here. The language barrier makes it even more difficult for them to report these crimes, and gang members are well aware that they have a better chance of getting away with a crime if it is directed towards a fellow refugee.
It would appear that the only way to avoid future crimes would be to help these immigrant populations assimilate into American life. Positive social service programs teach that we all have the basic rights that are outlined in the constitution, but none of us have the right to infringe on the freedom of others.
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