Homeland Security Chief Jeh Johnson warned that a Somalia-based terrorist group is encouraging “independent actors” to carry out attacks in Western countries, with the Mall of America in Minnesota among the specific targets, but he failed to mention that the U.S. continues to import hundreds of high-risk Islamic refugees from Somalia every month.
The U.S. State Department’s refugee-resettlement program has placed more than 100,000 Somalis into U.S cities and towns since the early 1990s – all of them Muslims hand-selected by the United Nations refugee agency. And Minnesota has become the most popular destination, with secondary hotspots in Maine, Ohio, Colorado and southern California. More than 800 new refugees from Somalia arrive in the United States every month, according to Refugee Resettlement Watch.
The constant influx has earned parts of Minneapolis the nickname “Little Mogadishu.”
Johnson told CNN Sunday that terrorist groups such as Somalia-based al-Shabab are “relying more and more on independent actors to become inspired” and “attack on their own.”
But he made no mention in any of his interviews on Sunday morning news shows of the program that brings these potential “independent actors” to the U.S. in the first place.
Johnson said there was a need for a “comprehensive” approach to fighting the ever-present threat posed by terror groups, including al-Shabab and the Islamic State or ISIS.
One would think that cutting off the spigot of Islamic immigration would play a role in any truly comprehensive approach, said Islam expert Robert Spencer, who runs the JihadWatch blog at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
To talk about tackling the problem without addressing the refugee pipeline is disingenuous, Spencer said.
“The government’s ‘concern’ about these threats is completely undercut by the Obama administration’s immigration policies,” said Spencer. “More than 800 Somalis a month are entering the country.”
The latest attempt to inspire so-called “lone-wolf” attacks came Saturday when a video was posted on the Internet featuring an al-Shabab terrorist who appeared to be a Somali wearing a scarf over his face and speaking in a British accent. He urged like-minded Muslims to carry out attacks against shopping malls in their home countries.
The Somali terrorist provided three examples of what he believes would make wonderful targets – the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, and the Oxford Street shopping area in London.
He showed a picture of the Mall of America with GPS coordinates.
Christians targeted in 2013 mall attack in Kenya
The video showed six minutes of graphic images and the terrorists celebrating the 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, which killed 67 people. In that attack, many of the shoppers were asked if they were Christian. If they said yes, they were summarily executed.
The deputy director of the FBI’s counter-terrorism unit, Michael Steinbach, told a congressional committee on Feb. 11 that it is virtually impossible for the U.S. to screen out terrorists from the U.N.’s Syrian refugees camps because Syria is a “failed state” with no reliable police or intelligence data. The same could be said for Somalia, which has been wracked by civil war since the early 1990s. Yet the U.S. has been accepting a steady stream of refugees from that country since 1992.
Spencer said the U.S. government can’t claim “concern” about jihadists carrying out lone-wolf attacks but then fail to shut down the main pipeline into the country, which is the refugee resettlement program.
These immigrants did not just magically appear on U.S. soil, as many of the major media reports would suggest. They were brought here with the full support of the White House and Congress, and there is thus far no indication that anyone wants to rein in the refugee program even though there have been widespread abuses, such as in 2008 when the State Department admitted that up to 20,000 Somalis lied on their refugee applications to get into the U.S., making false claims of American family members.
Others have been caught sending aid to al-Shabab or leaving the country to go fight for the al-Qaida offshoot. Spencer said there is no fool-proof way to determine whether Somali refugees have any allegiance to al-Shabab.
“The government could have imported as ‘refugees’ the very people who could carry out a jihad attack at the Mall of America,” he said. “The duplicity is as astounding as the indifference of the Republicans and the mainstream media.”
Minnesota now has the largest population of Somali-Americans, estimated at from 50,000 to 80,000, concentrated mostly in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. The Somali community has had problems integrating into the mainstream of American society. They have called for foot baths at colleges, demanded halal foods at schools, hospitals and prisons, and filed lawsuits against employers who don’t accommodate their special needs related to dress codes or prayer times.
About 70 percent of the 900 cab drivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport are Somali men. They have repeatedly refused to transport dogs, both pets and guide dogs for the blind, as many news outlets have reported, including WND.
While there has been widespread media coverage recently about the national-security risks associated with bringing in a new wave of refugees from Syria, little has made its way into the establishment media about the thousands of Somalis who have already come to America, and continue to come despite increasing signs of radicalization. Dozens of Muslim youths in Minnesota have fallen prey to radical teachings both in mosques and over the Internet, with approximately 25 documented cases of Somalis having left Minnesota to fight for al-Shabab over the past five years, according to the FBI.
At least a dozen other Somalis from Minnesota have left or attempted to leave to go fight for ISIS, WND reported previously. Still others have been arrested, charged and convicted for sending financial aid or other support to foreign terrorist organizations.
Pamela Geller, author of “Stop the Islamization of America” and the AtlasShrugged blog, is another critic of the government’s refugee program.
“I’ve been warning about our refugee resettlement programs for years. In my book, I detail how these programs give preferential treatment to Muslims, even over Christians and other non-Muslims who face Muslim persecution,” she said. “There is no telling how many actual and potential jihadis we have brought into this country as ‘refugees.’”
Pressure from CAIR, ISNA
Any attempts to address this national-security issue have been undermined by groups such the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, and the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA, she said, adding that these groups are continuously pushing for what she calls “Islamic supremacy.”
“Rep. Peter King’s hearings on these matters were widely derided in the media and attacked by Islamic supremacist groups,” Geller said.
The problem is that most media companies care what groups like CAIR and ISNA think of them, Geller said, even though these organizations have no credibility and were found to have direct ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood during the Holy Land Foundation terror-funding trial of 2008-2009.
“The mainstream media are no longer a news-gathering industry but an activist organization aligned with the Obama administration and the jihad force,” Geller said.
Local residents concerned
Debra Anderson, a resident of Minneapolis and an activist who has fought the growth of mosques in the area, said the latest threat by al-Shabab is terrifying for local residents.
“If they’re comparing it to the Westgate Mall in Kenya, oh my God, they tortured most of those people before killing them, they tortured them,” Anderson said. “When, not if, it happens here it is going to be ugly, really ugly, and we need to have some preparations in place.”
In the same city where Mall of America is located, Bloomington, is the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Youth and Family Center. This mosque is led by radical imam Waleed Edreese al-Meneese, who is a Ph.D. on the faculty of the Islamic University of Minnesota and the American Open University in Washington, D.C., teaching Islamic studies and Shariah law.
For the past nine years, Meneese has been a member of the Permanent Fatwa Committee of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America as well as a member of the Board of Trustees of the North American Imams Federation and the American Muslim Jurists of America, an organization that instructs other imams and has been known to teach a literal interpretation of the Quran on everything from female genital mutilation to death for apostate Muslims.
“The Middle East is sending their best imams here to proselytize and convert,” Anderson said.
In fiscal year 2014 the U.S. admitted 9,000 Somali refugees. In the first four months of fiscal 2015 the U.S. admitted 3,536 new Somali refugees, or 884 per month.
See the pattern of Somali resettlements into the U.S. in chart below. The refugee program has been operating in its current form since the Refugee Act of 1980 was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter.