And why were refugees who returned to their home country to take up jihad allowed to re-enter the United States? It seems a repudiation of the contract by which Somali refugees entered this nation.
Suspects free with conditions in Minn. terror case, AP, July 17, 2010Below, Somali residents of Minnesota who left to pursue jihad in their homeland learned traditional Islam from al-Shabab, perhaps participating in capital punishment by stoning. The accused adulterer pictured wasÂ semi-buried and then executed as local villagers were forced to watch.
When Minnesota Somalis began traveling to their war-torn homeland to take up arms nearly three years ago, authorities initially feared they might someday return as domestic terrorists.
But recent court activity suggests at least some of the men are not as dangerous as once feared. Five have been allowed to go free with various conditions as their cases work through the court system, including two who admitted spending time in a terrorist training camp. After months in custody, the pair have gradually received more freedom, and are now living with family members.
â€?Judges tend to err on the side of caution in these cases,â€? said Stephen Vladeck, an associate law professor at American University in Washington. So for a court to release a terrorism suspect, the judge â€?found clearly and convincingly that the defendant is not a threat.â€?
Roughly 20 men â€” all but one of Somali descent â€” left Minnesota from December 2007 through October 2009 to join al-Shabab, a violent group that seeks to establish an Islamic state in Somalia. The federal government designated al-Shabab a foreign terrorist organization in March 2008, and said it has ties to al-Qaida.
The threat posed by al-Shabab took on more urgency last week, when the group claimed responsibility for twin bombings in Uganda that killed 76 people during the World Cup final. It was the first time al-Shabab had struck outside Somaliaâ€™s borders. In a new audio message released Thursday, the militant groupâ€™s leader threatened further attacks.
Itâ€™s unclear whether any Minnesota men were involved in the attack. The FBI is assisting the investigation in Uganda.
Federal officials are still seeking some of the Minnesota suspects, and authorities warn the group could still pose a threat in the future.
â€?These individuals still present a dangerousness because of the ideology involved and the training that they get in camps,â€? said E.K. Wilson, an FBI spokesman in Minneapolis.