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NYT unpacks Minnesota Somali ties to terrorism

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Image courtesy of Mulad on Flickr In artful prose, The New York Times explains how 20 Somali-American men became entangled in a terrorist group and the subject of the biggest domestic terror investigation since Sept. 11. And today, a local relative confirms that a fourth Somali man from the Twin Cities has died in Somalia.

The movement began in a basement room of the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, according to the article. The Times reporters have pieced together in a cohesive tale the story that local media has been covering in bits and pieces since last fall. From the Times:

They had fled Somalia as small boys, escaping a catastrophic civil war. They came of age as refugees in Minneapolis, embracing basketball and the prom, hip-hop and the Mall of America. By the time they reached college, their dreams seemed within grasp: one planned to become a doctor; another, an entrepreneur.

But last year, in a study room on the first floor of Carlson, the men turned their energies to a different enterprise.

"Why are we sitting around in America, doing nothing for our people?" one of the men, Mohamoud Hassan, a skinny 23-year-old engineering major, pressed his friends.

Minnesota's Somali community has been plagued with tragedy, from escaping a war-torn country, to stateside murder, to the call of jihad. The NYT piece is definitely worth a solid read.