[QODLink]
Americas

FBI probes Somali-Americans fighting in Syria

Up to 15 men are believed to have travelled from Minneapolis-St Paul area to join rebel groups battling Assad's forces.

Last updated: 13 Jun 2014 13:41
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
US officials fear the "radicalised" Americans may return to stage attacks at home [Reuters]

The FBI is investigating men of Somali background who have travelled from the United States to Syria to fight with rebel groups against President Bashar al-Assad.

Kyle Loven, a spokesman for the FBI's Minneapolis office, said on Thursday that in the last few months the bureau had received information indicating that 10 to 15 men from the region's large Somali community had travelled from the Minneapolis-St Paul area to Syria.

Loven said that the FBI believed they would join up self-declared jihadist fighters, although he did not identify the groups, Reuters news agency reported.

The US Justice Department, the FBI and US spy agencies recently assigned coordinators or special teams to monitor such travel, fearing that "radicalised" Americans may return and stage attacks at home.

The FBI inquiry grew out of an investigation opened in 2007 into possible terrorism links by people of Somali background who travelled from the same region to Somalia to fight with the al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabab, or who raised money for it.

Another US official said most Americans and many other foreigners who had gone to Syria to fight had joined one of the two rival self-declared jihadist groups, the official al-Qaeda affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a former al-Qaeda affiliate which lately had been denounced by al-Qaeda leaders for excessive violence.

The US government recently confirmed that a Florida man, Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, had become the first known American suicide bomber in Syria.

Security authorities in some European countries, including Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, say hundreds of their citizens have done likewise.

266

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.