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Militants: Somalia Suicide Bomber From Minnesota

Thursday, June 02, 2011

A man who carried out a suicide bomb attack at a peacekeepers' base in Mogadishu this week was a Somali-American from Minnesota, the militant group al-Shabab said Thursday.

The group identified Abdullahi Ahmed, 25, of Minneapolis as the man who bombed the African Union base in the Somalia capital on Monday. The attack killed two AU troops and one government soldier. In a report on its website, al-Shabab said Ahmed moved to Somalia from Minneapolis two years ago.

The report purported to quote Ahmed before his death saying that he wanted to carry out the attack because of abuses by Christians in Muslim countries.

If the report is confirmed, Ahmed would become at least the third Somali-American to have carried out a suicide bombing in Somalia.

Somali Islamic insurgents — some with links to al-Qaida — have been recruiting young Somali men in America and other countries, raising fears that the recruits could be trained up to attack foreign targets.

The first known American suicide bomber in Somalia, Shirwa Ahmed from Minneapolis, blew himself up in October 2008 in the northern breakaway republic of Somaliland as part of a series of coordinated explosions that killed 21 people.

In September 2009, insurgents including an 18-year-old from Seattle, drove two stolen U.N. cars into an AU base and detonated them. Twenty-one people were killed.

At least 20 Somali-Americans are believed to have joined al-Shabab. U.S. authorities have warned that a Somali-American who seeks training from al-Shabab could return to the United States to carry out an attack.