Blessed James Desire Laval, September 9

September 9, 2009

Blessed James Desire Laval

Blessed James Desire Laval Priest
Croth (Evreux), Normandy, September 18, 1803 – Port-Louis, Mauritius, September 9, 1864

He was born in France in 1803 to a middle-class family that pushed him to graduate in medicine. Escaping from an accident, he decided to leave the medical profession to become a missionary. Sent in 1841 on the island of Mauritius, he enthusiastically devoted himself to the evangelization of the Blacks who had been legally freed from slavery, but left to themselves. His “chosen field” caused serious conflicts with other missionaries and even with the bishop, who wanted to devote himself only to the children of white settlers. His “incarnation” in the world of “negritude” led him to value all the positive elements of local culture not, only religious, but also the indigenous. James Laval was beatified by Pope John Paul II, who stressed the fact that he had placed “on one side, the side of the last, the Blacks in a time of racism.” Read the rest of this entry »


Two Somali Men Indicted for Recruitment and Training of Terrorists

July 17, 2009

Two Somali men were indicted for aid to terrorists. Predictably, they approached the men at a mosque; so far, their other ties have not been revealed. It seems fairly certain that, as these men don’t have a network within Somalia, that they were not the instigators. The mosque has always denied involvement, and I’m not making any statements in that regard; clearly the mosque was the recruiter hunting ground for young men who could be radicalized and convinced to go to Somalia, as one might expect.

Hopefully we’ll be getting more answers soon.

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Court records, and the cooperation of one of two Somali men charged, detail recruitment and training.

By JAMES WALSH, Star Tribune

Last update: July 15, 2009 – 9:24 AM

Abdifitah Yusef Isse
Salah Ahmed

First-ever details of Minnesota men training with terrorists in Somalia — learning to fire weapons, building training camps — came to light in court documents released Tuesday.

One of the two Somali men indicted for providing support to those terrorists pleaded guilty months ago and has been cooperating with the FBI, according to those same documents.

Papers filed by the attorney for Abdifatah Yusuf Isse, 25, of Seattle also provide the first clue to how Isse and other young Somalis were recruited to fight, saying he was approached “at a house of worship.”

The motion provides no other details about the place of recruitment. Up to 20 Twin Cities men of Somali descent have disappeared over the past two years, and many of them worshipped or socialized at Abubakar as-Saddique, the largest Somali mosque in Minneapolis.

Farhan (Omar) Hurre, the mosque director, has consistently said that the mosque does not preach violence and didn’t play a role in the disappearances.

At least four of the missing men have died since returning to Somalia — three since early June — and community members say there are reports of other deaths.

Isse, who has family in the Twin Cities, has admitted to investigators that he trained with terrorists in Somalia, traveled and stayed in houses with Shirwa Ahmed, the Minneapolis man who blew himself up in a suicide bombing last October in northern Somalia. Isse even helped construct a terrorist training camp, according to a previously sealed federal response to motions filed by his attorney, Paul Engh.

The documents detailing Isse’s admitted involvement in terrorist training were unsealed after the first appearance in court Monday by the other man indicted on charges of supporting terrorists, Salah Osman Ahmed, 26, of Brooklyn Park.

The men are the first to be publicly charged in the sweeping probe — one of the most far-reaching U.S. counterterrorism efforts since 9/11. Special Agent E.K. Wilson said Tuesday that these initial indictments are just the beginning of an “ongoing investigation.”

Isse pleaded guilty April 17 to a single count of providing material support to terrorists.

In his motion to amend the conditions of Isse’s detention Engh writes: “Mr. Isse will not be the last defendant indicted. The individuals who recruited him to go to Somalia have been targeted for prosecution. Once charged, they will face a life sentence. Recruiting young men to blow themselves up while killing the innocent at a crowded marketplace is a definition of evil. And this recruitment happened at a house of worship.”

The motion was denied.

Engh has declined to comment on the case, other than to acknowledge that he represents Isse, citing national security rules.

Stephen L. Smith, an attorney who has represented five or six people who testified before the grand jury investigating the case, said though many of the missing men spent time at Abubakar, he does not believe anyone in a leadership position there recruited men to fight for al-Shabaab, the Somali group with links to Al-Qaida.

“There have certainly been questions along those lines,” Smith said of the grand jury investigation. “But every client I have represented has not in any way suggested there was any nefarious exposure to this kind of stuff, this type of ideology, from the mosque.”

Isse’s story

According to documents filed by the U.S. Attorney, Isse was arrested at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Feb. 24. He said he was on his way to Tanzania to participate in an internship with his uncle.

He had previously left Minneapolis in December 2007 for Somalia, traveling as part of “an agreement with several other individuals from the Minneapolis area to travel to Somalia and fight against Ethiopian soldiers whom they believed to be occupying the country.”

Isse traveled with one Minneapolis man and met with two others in Dubai.

While in Somalia, Isse “learned that his conspiracy was affiliated with al-Shabaab,” the U.S. Attorney’s office wrote. Al-Shabaab is considered a “militant jihadist organization” by federal officials that has waged war to impose Sharia, or strict Islamic law, in Somalia.

Isse and the others lived in houses provided by al-Shabaab, trained with weapons and traveled and lived with other al-Shabaab members. One of those men was Shirwa Ahmed. Isse even spent a couple weeks helping build a training camp.

After a week or two at the camp, the U.S. Attorney said, Isse decided he did not want to stay. He and another man from Minnesota left, while other Minnesotans stayed to continue their training.

After visiting family members in Somalia, Isse returned to the U.S. in May 2008. Even after Shirwa Ahmed’s death, Isse stayed in contact with “other individuals who had knowledge of the ongoing conspiracy to recruit al-Shabaab members from among the Somali-American population in Minneapolis,” according to court papers.

Ayan Isse, Abdifatah Isse’s cousin, said the entire family was shocked to hear of his arrest. Isse, an engineering student in his home state of Washington, was “always one of the good kids,” she said. “He never smoked, he never did anything.”

The family didn’t even know Isse had been arrested until a few months ago, she said. Until then, they had frantically tried to find him.

“When he came to America, he was willing to study to become somebody. He was willing to help his family, his brothers and sisters. Whoever talked him into this stuff, it’s no good, because now he is paying the price,” Ayan Isse said.

Maruf’s role

Zakaria Maruf, one of the Somali men said to have been involved in recruiting others in Minneapolis, was killed last weekend in Mogadishu. It is not clear how he died.

Somalis who grew up with Maruf recall an angry young man who seemed to mellow in recent years after getting involved at Abubakar as-Saddique, where he sometimes volunteered at mosque conventions.

A community activist who works with Somali youth said that although Maruf was prone to fights, he “had a leadership presence where people used to follow him.”

Gandi Mohamed, who grew up in the same neighborhood as Maruf and who worships at Abubakar, said he doubts Maruf acted alone.

Mohamed said Maruf was a hothead who often picked fights he couldn’t win. Although “he did calm down and mature” in recent years, Mohamed said, Maruf lacked the “personality, intellect and temperament” to mastermind an extensive recruiting effort.

“For me to go to Somalia right now, I would need my elders to get up there and make connections for me to be safe,” he said. “For him to get there and be connected and be a leader in al-Shabaab, he’d have to have someone influential to make the connection for him.”

Staff writers Richard Meryhew and Allie Shah contributed to this report. James Walsh • 612-673-7428

Source: Startribune


Burhan Hassan’s Mom speaks

July 16, 2009

BurhanBurhan Hassan

Burhan Hassan was the second Somali kid to leave Minneapolis and die in Somalia; he was shot in the head, most likely because someone overheard him on the phone with his mom, who wanted to send him money to return to the US.

He was just a baby.

I know that in Somalia and other countries, babies of this age are hardened warriors; this kid has more in common with Urkel than with any type of warrior.

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Tormented mother grieves son who heeded a fatal call

By RICHARD MERYHEW and ALLIE SHAH, Star Tribune staff writers

Last update: July 13, 2009 – 12:14 PM

In the dark of early morning, when heartache precludes sleep, Zienab Bihie grabs a pen and a journal and begins to write.

She writes of her youngest son’s passion for basketball and soccer. Of his dreams of becoming a doctor or lawyer and possibly, attending Harvard. Of his love for the close-knit family he left behind.

“Sometimes, when I am writing, my tears are running into the book,” Bihie said the other day, wiping tears from her cheeks in the tiny high-rise apartment where she lives in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis. Read the rest of this entry »


The Jihad is Alive and Well, at a College near you

July 15, 2009

True in Minneapolis, where it’s reported that a second young Somali man has been killed after having gone home to be part of the Jihad; he is the third who has gone home and died, the first one took part in a homicide bombing, the second was also killed.

Jamal BanaJamal Bana

Jamal Bana is one of several Somali youth who returned to their homeland in November; he was shot, most likely by Abu Shabaad, the terrorist group he went to join. Are they being killed because they’re not Jihadist enough? For planning to return to Minneapolis and their decadent Western lifestyles? Because a return home implies availability to the FBI who will then know the identities of the local recruiters?

While the Somali community has been disgruntled about the investigation, the FBI has the obligation to investigate ties to terrorism as the young men who wen to Somalia have the potential to wreak havoc if they return home.


Yet Another Midwestern Somali, Dead After Returning to his Homeland

July 13, 2009

Zakaria Maruf

Photo: #Zakaria Maruf, left, and Jamal Ahmed were reportedly killed in Somalia. The two men left Minneapolis late last year.
Zakaria Maruf and Jamal Ahmed
(AKA Jamal Bana as previously reported)

According to MPR, a fourth Somali who left Minnesota last year has been killed. Zakaria Maruf reportedly recruited other young Somali men to return to that country with him to fight. While four deaths have been reported in the news media, the Somali community says that more young men have died. The FBI is still investigating and the latest death may have an impact on people’s willingness to talk; reportedly some of the young men returned home and are in the proverbial undisclosed location.

Two More Missing Somalis Reported Killed
by Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
July 12, 2009
St. Paul, Minn. — Two more Somali men from Minneapolis were reportedly killed in Mogadishu over the weekend.

Community members said Saturday that 20-year-old Jamal Ahmed, also known as Jamal Bana, was shot in Mogadishu. Ahmed’s mother, Abayte Ahmed, told the Associated Press Sunday that she and her husband identified their son in a photo on a Somali news Web site. Read the rest of this entry »


Anglican White Superiority at Lambeth … Again

July 31, 2008

The very lovely Bishop Catherine Roskam

Anglican colonialism/racism rears its ugly head once again at Lambeth. Not only has this woman bishop shown the high quality of TEC social analysis, she has demonstrated in a conclusive fashion the fruits of ordaining feminist women. Notice that she considers every man a virtual violent criminal, even if he is a bishop.

The Right Rev Catherine Roskam, suffragan bishop of New York, with a responsibility for 66 congregations, said domestic violence was culturally acceptable in some parts of the world and that “even the most devout Christians” were guilty of it. Read the rest of this entry »