An article in The Times by Andrea Elliott on Sunday examined the case of more than 20 young Somali-Americans who are now the focus of a major domestic terrorism investigation. Most of the men are refugees who left Minnesota, which has one of the largest Somali communities in the United States, and are suspected of joining Al Shabaab, a militant Islamist group in Somalia. One of the men blew himself up in a suicide attack in Somalia in October. We asked some experts what dynamics in the Somali community might make it more possible to lure these young men to that group. While “homegrown” jihadism has caused alarm in Britain and other European countries, does the United States face challenges of its own? Can the government detect and prevent such movements from gaining footholds here?
- Ken Menkhaus, political scientist
- Bruce Hoffman, professor of security studies
- Zainab Hassan, The Minneapolis Foundation
- Steven Simon, co-author, “The Next Attack”
- Thomas Sanderson, Center for Strategic and International Studies
- Guido Steinberg, German Institute for International and Security Affairs
- Bill Durodié, Chatham House in London