It reads like the lyrics of the song in West Side Story where the "Jets" gang members sing to Officer Krupke claiming they are just misunderstood kids, not punks and criminals. The Minneapolis Star Tribune takes this approach to the story of young male Somali refugees that have taken residence in Minneapolis who have decided to go back to Somalia to "visit." The suspicion is, though, that are they going back to join terrorist gangs there. The Star Trib claims they absolutely are not in its coverage, however. Yet, for some unexplained reason, the Star Trib also leaves out the fact that Somali recruiters have been seen roaming the streets of Minneapolis encouraging Somali men to return for just that purpose, as well as other important details linking the “visits” with terrorism.
Why would the Star Trib leave out such important facts in the story?
Of course, the subject arose when it was discovered that a recently returned Somali refugee had blown himself up in a suicide bombing attack in northern Somalia in October. The man, Shirwa Ahmed, was also a former resident of Minneapolis.
Further, as TV station KSTP reports, there have been as many as 40 such young Somali men that have up and left Minneapolis for Somalia this year. Worse, Somali terror recruiters have been seen in Minneapolis trying to get more young men to go back and join terror efforts.
"The bottom line is there are people who are recruiting here, kids who are being brainwashed to go back there and blow themselves up," explained Omar Jamal with the Somali Justice Advocacy Center.
Sources believe there is a strong network of recruiters working the Twin Cities, trying to convince young Somalis to surrender themselves for the cause of terrorism.
Even more ominously, KSTP reports that the CIA is warning that al Qaeda is increasingly reaching out to Somali groups in Somalia.
CIA Director Michael Hayden acknowledges a growing tie between Al Qaeda and Somali terrorist groups. Federal investigators believe these missing men are training for terrorist attacks overseas, but can't be sure they won't return the Twin Cities someday to carry out an attack.
But none of these harrowing and important details appear in the Star Tribune's story, for some unexplainable reason. In the Star Trib's story the Somali men in Minneapolis are presented as wide-eyed, innocents just yearning for home. Few of the details that KSTP reported appear in the Star Trib story.
In fact, the very first line assures the reader that these young men are merely going back to poor, war-torn Somalia seemingly for nostalgic reasons.
Many would like to return to their homeland someday. Some even do. But if they go, they say it's only to gain fresh perspective -- not to fight.
As far as the Star Trib is concerned, none of these men intend on joining terror groups when they return to Somalia.
He did not, he insisted, go to fight. He went for a new perspective on his life in America. And others are doing the same thing, Maye and several other local Somali men said Wednesday.
I don't imagine the Star Tribune expected these guys to admit anything to them so as to be swept up by U.S. authorities on terror charges after the story comes out, eh?
As the Sar Trib goes on with its tale few of the real facts of the story see the light of day. These young Somali men are portrayed as simple tourists as they visit Somalia and little mention is even made of the situation back there.
Even worse than not revealing the terror connections that other stories discuss, the Star Tribune even makes the whole thing the U.S.A.'s fault. The Star Trib says the reason these young men yearn for home is that they can't make it here because the U.S.A. is so forbidding to them!
Many have found only disappointment here -- lost jobs, trouble with the law, poor prospects. So, he said, they go back to Somalia for a fresh start or to reconnect with their culture. Or, he said, "to do something good."
Ah, yes. It's just so hard here. No constant warfare, no roving terror groups, peace and quiet reigning supreme, and all. It MUST be impossible for an immigrant to get by here!
And it almost goes without saying that the Star Trib never uses the words Muslim or Islam to describe these men, either.
So, we have the true situation being that up to 40 men have disappeared (the Star Trib claims is is half that number), one of them has already blown himself up in a terror attack (at least the Star Trib mentions that in one short sentence), recruiters for Somali terror groups have been seen in the Somali community trying to get other young men to go back (not mentioned by the Star Trib), and al Qaeda has been increasingly involved in Somalia (another fact the Star Trib ignores).
Why did the Minneapolis Star Tribune leave out so much of this story and portray these young men as obvious innocents? Certainly some may be innocent and may have been truthful when they said they visited their homeland for a “fresh perspective.” But, why didn’t the Star Trib give the whole story showing that many may have indeed gone back to fight?
You tell me.
To me it sounds like the song in West Side Story, Gee Officer Krupke, which goes in part…
Gee, Officer Krupke, we're very upset;
We never had the love that ev'ry child oughta get.
We ain't no delinquents,
Deep down inside us there is good!
As far as the Minneapolis Star Tribune seems to be concerned, none of these Somali refugees could possibly be joining terror efforts, despite the recruiters seen in their fair city and one of their own already self-destructing as a suicide bomber. They are all just misunderstood, of course.
(Photo of terrorist Shirwa Ahmed from KSTP TV)