The FBI is confirming that 27-year-old Farah Mohamed Beledi of St. Paul was one of two men who died in a Mogadishu suicide attack last week. He fled Minnesota in 2009 to join the al-Shabaab terrorist group.
Beledi was one of 13 Twin Cities men indicted on terrorism charges in July 2010, as part of the ongoing probe into how young Somali men from the cities are being recruited to fight for al-Shabaab.[jump]
Among the charges: Providing material support to al-Shabaab, and conspiring to kill, kidnap, maim and injure persons abroad.
MPR reports that Beledi came to the U.S. in 1996 when he was 12 years old. He went to Central High School, started running with a street gang, and in 2007 pleaded guilty to stabbing a man in the neck during a high school soccer match.
When news about the suicide attack broke last week, al-Shabaab claimed on its website that a Somali American from Minnesota, 25-year-old Abdullahi Ahmed, was the man who blew himself up. He tried but failed to drive an explosives-laden car through a security barrier.
But a picture of the dead man spread through the Somali community, and to his aging mother, the Star Tribune reported. They all recognized Beledi, and the FBI confirmed their worst fears yesterday through matching fingerprints.