One of the first Somali-Americans from the Twin Cities to join a terrorist group overseas is a prominent online recruiter whose clout extends to a new wave of Minnesotans charged with conspiring to support extremists in the Middle East.
Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan’s most recent display of influence came a week ago when he was linked by Twitter to the shooting at a Texas event where artists depicted their version of the prophet Mohammed. Before the shooting, Hassan sent messages urging his “brothers” to commit such an attack and later praised the gunmen who were killed.
His calls for violence from abroad highlighted the extent of his reach in the United States, which has been steadily growing since he left Minnesota in 2008. Hassan, known more commonly as “Miski,” had already earned a reputation for his ability to stay ahead of federal authorities who want to silence him and others whose sophisticated use of social media is influencing new recruits to fight for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
To call these people “Americans” is a disgrace to every real American. But as long as nationality is nothing more than a passport, expect to see a lot more of this until people finally — if ever — come to their senses.
In the Twin Cities, Hassan represents the first link between the earlier waves of Somali youth who fled the U.S. for terrorism to a current group of young men charged last month for allegedly trying to do the same.
Hassan, who left as a 17-year-old student at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis, was among the second wave of Somalis from the Twin Cities who first conspired in 2007 to fly to Somalia to join Al-Shabab. From 2007 through 2013, at least 23 men from the metro area fled the U.S. in four separate waves, forcing the FBI to launch a counterterrorism investigation known as “Operation Rhino.”
In 2009, Hassan was indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to support terrorism. Today, he is one of nine Somali-American Minnesotans on an FBI most-wanted list of terrorists.
Meanwhile, “immigration” from Muslim lands continues absolutely unabated.