Reporting Kate Raddatz
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In an interview with PBS NewsHour, Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamad told Margaret Warner about the Minnesota connection with attackers involved in the Kenyan mall attack.
Mohamad confirmed that “two or three Americans” and “one Brit” were involved.
“From the information we have, [they] are young men about…between maybe 18 and 19…of Somali origin or Arab origin,” Mohamad said. “[They] lived in the U.S. in Minnesota and one other place.”
Members of the Twin Cities’ Somali-American community were already concerned when unconfirmed reports of attackers being from Minnesota surfaced on Sunday.
Fartun Weli runs Isuroon, a health and empowerment program for Somali women. She says community members fear people will tie them to terrorism.
“Just worrying about, you know, the backlashes,” Weli said. “People not knowing us already enough and that word “terror” attached – it creates a lot of anxiety,” she said.
Al-Shabaab has a history of recruiting young Somali-Americans from the Twin Cities for terror training camps. Community leaders agree that action is needed to stop recruitments, community divide and skewed perception.
“We need to all work together. We just have to talk about it… why this is happening,” Weli said. “Why the reasons…these kids are leaving here and going home and are susceptible [to] being recruited.”