Up to five Somalis living in Canada disappeared earlier this month and the authorities are investigating whether they have joined the ranks of the Al-Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia, The National Post reports.
The individuals are believed to have flown together to Kenya, which borders the East African country currently suffering from a civil war.
“As you know, we have one of the largest Somali diaspora communities in the Western world,” the newspaper report quoted William Elliott, the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mountain Police, as saying during an October 30 presentation.
“The potential follow-on threat, from a Canadian and RCMP [Royal Canadian Mountain Police] perspective, is Somali-Canadians who travel to Somalia to fight and then return, imbued with both extremist ideology and the skills necessary to translate it into direct action.”
The National Post reports that if the group has indeed joined the terrorist forces in Somalia, they wouldn’t be the first Canadians to do so.
A businessman in Toronto was killed in 2008 fighting Ethiopian troops that had intervened in the conflict, and a “handful” of others had also joined the fight.
Somali-Americans have also gone to Somalia to join al-Shabaab, at least two of which have since died in the conflict, including one who became the first American suicide bomber.
Press reports indicate that as many as 20 Somali-Americans have disappeared in the Minneapolis area and are believed to have gone to Somalia.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Somali-Canadians Now Joining Jihad in Native Land