Two Minnesotans may be among attackers in Kenyan mall massacre

Categories: Religion, Somalis
AlShabaabVideo.jpg
Still from a recruitment video featuring the stories of three men who traveled from Minneapolis to Somalia for jihad.
Two Minnesotans may be among the group that slaughtered shoppers of Nairobi's Westgate mall this weekend with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

An English-language Twitter account purporting to speak for al-Shabab, Somalia's al-Qaeda affiliate, live-tweeted the massacre. Before the social-networking service shut down the feed, it claimed to identify 10 of the gunmen, including three Americans in their 20s.

SEE ALSO: Al-Shabaab recruitment video features men who traveled from Mpls to Somalia for jihad

Their names have not been released by authorities, and no official connection has been made. The Daily Beast, however, in an article citing an unnamed U.S. counterterrorism source, reports that
two of them are alleged to be from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area in Minnesota, home to a large Somali-American community, from which Al-Shabab has been actively seeking to recruit in the past.
Earlier this year, al-Shabab published a recruitment video, "Minnesota's Martyrs: The Path to Paradise." It follows three men from the Twin Cities to training camps in Somalia.

Troy Kastigar, a Native American who converted to Islam in 2004, tells viewers, "This is the real Disney Land." He adds, "You need to come over here, join us, and take pleasure in this fun."

This weekend's carnage -- reportedly ongoing -- was described by the Washington Post as the deadliest terrorist attack in Kenya in 15 years. As of early Monday, the death toll had risen to 68 and another 175 injured. Sixty-three people were reported missing.
The attackers...had chosen a target popular with Westerners and wealthy Kenyans, a move sure to hurt the nation's critical tourism industry and spread unease among the numerous Western aid agencies based in Nairobi.
-- Email Jesse Marx at jmarx@citypages.com or follow him on Twitter at @marxjesse


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29 comments
digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

these guys are up in the gym, training daily. some use PEDs. 

Stuart Allen
Stuart Allen

I wonder if theirs anymore here in Minneapolis?

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

Americans, being mostly immigrants, have always gone "home" where there is trouble back there. Look at all the men, money and weapons that flowed from traditionally Irish-American communities like Boston to the IRA in Northern Ireland, until Reagan shut that down as a favor to Thatcher.  And the number of US citizens who have served in the Israeli Defense Force, like Rahm Emanuel.

In Somalia, though, the US has chosen sides, albeit covertly, and most Somalis favor the other side and view the US proxies as enemies.  Indeed, I've heard from several sources that Somalia was never much inclined to Muslim extremism until US intervention fatally weakened all the other forces, and the Muslim extremists were the only ones left to resist the ancient enemies of the Somali people (primarily the Ethiopians).

I don't have any idea what they're trying to do with this massacre though.  This is beyond the pale.  Although the full situation in Somalia is vastly more complex than almost any Americans are aware, involving a number of countries in the region, a number of foreign nations playing proxy games, the sources of the Nile and all that water, other resources and supply routes including oil and pipelines; etc.  Add to that artificial boundaries and political divisions, ethnic, cultural and clan divisions, and you've got a full-out mess.

I'm very reluctant to demonize the Somalis who have gone back home intending to help their relatives and the nation they consider their ethnic homeland.  Until, of course, they do stuff like this.

WatusiJenkins
WatusiJenkins

After this massacre, I wonder if they'll ban guns and grenades in Kenya. 

Onan
Onan

"Troy Kastigar, a Native American who converted to Islam in 2004, tells viewers, "This is the real Disney Land." He adds, "You need to come over here, join us, and take pleasure in this fun.'"

Dear Mr. Kastiger - Fuck you. 

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@swmnguy if the chinese invaded california i would head west to fight and win glory

Arkadi
Arkadi

@swmnguy Honestly, I was terrified to scroll down to the comments section of this article. Thanks for proving my fears unfounded with your reasonable and level-headed comment.

really
really

@Aricka Sundstrom But whoever recruited them is. 

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@Onan Too late.  According to several stories, Mr. Kastigar died in Somalia in 2009.  I wonder what he had ever experienced before he appeared in the video.  From stories of other Minnesotans who have gone to Somalia, not much.  Ever notice how hard it seems for Somali immigrants to adapt to Minnesota?  The weather, culture, protocol, etc.?  Imagine how it must be for a kid born and raised in Minnesota to deal with Somalia.  We love to complain about government and society here.  Imagine a place where neither really even exist.  Young Mr. Kastigar appears to have been, like so many, a rootless, alienated young man who never felt like he fit in until he got among a group of radicals, the hardened ones of whom had no qualms whatsoever about talking him into putting himself in death's way to help them.  The usual source of fresh meat for gangs, terrorist groups, the Marine Corps; you name it.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@digitalprotocol  No doubt you would.  Even if the government of Minnesota ruled the anti-Chinese resistance groups to be "terrorist organizations," whatever that means anymore.

I'm not saying these Somali kids and like-minded people are doing the right thing, or the smart thing.  I don't know enough to have much of an opinion on that.  I'm just saying that there are a lot of issues involved here and most of us don't know anything about it.

I may have had more contact with East African immigrants than a lot of people, because I worked in a West Bank coffee shop for a little while almost 25 years ago, when the immigrants were Eritrean.  There were a few Ethiopians, and they hated each other.  There were a few Tigreans too, and that was a hate triangle.  That was before the Somalis showed up here.  I've heard the more recently-immigrated a Somali family is, the less-educated and more prone to religious zealotry they are; as the earlier immigrants were more educated, of higher social class, and more secular.  Kinda like Americans.

Also, my kids have been in school with Somali kids since pre-K and have seen various conflicts up close.  For instance, this past Feb. 14 my son was at lunch at South High when a fight that had been simmering along between Ethiopian and Somali kids blew up into a brawl.  My son ran up the side stairs to his 3rd floor Science Lab room where they all hid, when he saw the Mpls. Police crash in shooting tear gas and bean bags.  That was initially mis-reported as a white kid/black kid fight, bringing in the usual North Side "civil rights activists."  They lost their appetite and disappeared tout de suite once they realized it was Ethiopian against Somali kids, and that while dumb whitey (or hack "activist") may look at them all as "black," they see as little in common between themselves as, say, Spaniards and Finns, whom an ignoramus might call "white."

So there's a lot of complexity in these situations, and easy explanations and solutions are spectacularly useless.  Trying to understand and analogize to one's own experiences is always a useful thing to do, though.

really
really

@swmnguy @Onan make a few more excuses for the guy you terrorist sympathizing piece of shit

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@digitalprotocol 

 @digitalprotocol  I hesitate to treat Somali immigrants like they're monolithic.  Or anyone else, for that matter.  My experience is mostly through my kids, in the Minneapolis Public Schools. So that would be Somali kids, from the ages of 5 to16 more or less, living in South Minneapolis but not in the Phillips neighborhood.  Demographics probably play a big part in this.  These would be more-recent immigrants, in more-traditional families, living in pretty close-knit communities.  So the parents would be of lower socio-economic/educational status, more devout Muslim, living and working mostly in and among people similar to themselves. 

I state that because it could be very different in the suburbs, or with older kids, or different parental circumstances, etc.  Just stating what I've observed.


swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@Onan @digitalprotocol  Right you are, "Onan."  Sanford is over by the Riverview Theatre; at 42nd Ave. S. and about 35th Street.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@digitalprotocol  Yeah, I don't know much about that myself. I do know that in 7th grade at Sanford Middle School (3 years ago), my son had stories about fights at school at least once a week.  Then in 8th grade, after the first two months or so, it occurred to me he hadn't mentioned any fights at all; not even one.  No school full of 8th grade boys has zero fights.  So I asked him and he said no, there hadn't been any fights worth mentioning; just the occasional shouting and shoving that died down right away.  I asked why that was; seemed odd to me, as I remember daily fights in those grades when I went to school (at a "good" school, too, 35 years ago). He said, "I dunno. All the Somali kids are gone though, and they were in all the fights."  So there you have it.  

He said almost all the fights were between Somali kids and American black kids.  He said the Somali kids hated and despised the American black kids for not being Muslim, and having been slaves, and having a culture the Somali kids didn't respect at all.  My son said mostly the American black kids were amused by this, but would do the verbal shit-giving one sees in that culture, which would infuriate the Somali kids, which would make the American black kids laugh, which would then goad the Somali kids into starting a fight, which the American black kids didn't really expect because they usually just escalate the verbal horseplay...

Cultures clash, and young boys and men of any culture tend to be impetuous idiots. I can say that because 1) I'm middle-aged and 2) my ancestors were all on this continent before 1680 so my family has had to watch wave after wave of immigrants show up here and act like barbarians until they got settled in with my Protestant Western European culture. (Just kidding, mostly). 

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@swmnguy there is no debate... they are a violent tribal community and their youths are co-opting the black urban gangsta lifestyle

totally bullshit

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@swmnguy doesnt change the fact that they are recieving refuge and COLD CASH from the US govt - 

fuck em all 

swmguy
swmguy

@jo1glex

Hey, next time we jack off during an Obama speech, I want to swallow your load this time. 

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@jo1glex  Don't feed them.  It only helps them in doing their job.  And they don't care, so it's totally wasted effort on your part.

jo1glex
jo1glex

@really  A good point.  Because trying to understand why things happen in the world we live in makes you a sympathizing piece of shit.  True humanitarian patriots only kill, without ever using reason.

Here's a really funny thing you probably missed.  One of the first uses of the word "Terrorist" was by the British General Cornwallis, used against American Colonists (called by some, "Patriots") in the American Revolution.

You ignorant piece of shit.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@kennyX  Hi, kenny.  I see you've changed the spelling of your screen name again.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@kennyX @really And who would know more about diseases of the mind than you Kenny?

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