One of two suicide bombers responsible for killing two African Union soldiers in Somalia was from Minnesota, the FBI announced Thursday.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Fingerprints showed that Farah Mohamed Beledi, 27, from Minneapolis-St. Paul, was one of the attackers, the FBI's Minneapolis field office said in a statement.
In recent years, approximately 20 young men have traveled from the Minneapolis area to Somalia to train with al-Shabaab, and a number of them have gone on to fight with the terrorist organization, U.S. officials said.
Beledi was one of 14 people indicted in July 2010 on charges of aiding al-Shabaab. Beledi was charged with, among other things, conspiring wth and providing material support to al-Shabaab, and conspiring to kill, kidnap, maim and injure persons abroad, the FBI said.
He was believed to have left Minnesota in October 2009 for Somalia, the FBI said.
According to the African Union, several "extremist insurgents" disguised themselves as Somali government forces in order to attack an African Union checkpoint May 30.
Al-Shabaab, a Somali militant group allied with al Qaeda, posted a statement on its website identifying the suicide bomber as Abdullahi Ahmed, a Somali-American from Minneapolis.
It was not clear if Ahmed is the second bomber the FBI is trying to identify.
Al-Shabaab has been waging a war against Somalia's government in an effort to implement a stricter form of Islamic law, or sharia law. Somalia has not had a stable government since 1991, and fighting between the rebels and government troops has added to the humanitarian crisis in the nation on the Horn of Africa.