U.S. intelligence officials are concerned that the disappearance of dozens of Somali men from the St. Paul. Minn., area could be linked to terrorism.
American citizen Shirwa Ahmed was among several men who went missing from the area in recent months. In October, he participated in a suicide bomb attack that killed 29 people in northern Somalia, making him the first successful American suicide bomber.
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"The fear that intelligence officials as well as member of the Somali community in Minneapolis have is that these young men are going back to Somalia, where they're liaising with Islamic extremist groups," terrorism analyst Daveed Gartenstien-Ross said.
Officials say the men may have gone back to Somalia to join jihadist groups there, and could pose a threat to the U.S. if they return.
"There's a concern that either they're going to training camps and receiving the kind of training they would need to carry out some kind of mischief in the U.S.," Gartenstien-Ross added.
Somalia has not had a functioning central government since 1992. It's lawless atmosphere has allowed terrorist groups like al Qaeda to gain a foothold.