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Minnesota terror case spotlights after-school program

October 26, 2012 in West Central Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) On any given weekday, in a nondescript storefront on the eastern edge of Minneapolis, dozens of young Somalis gather to get help with homework, learn a little Arabic, or have a snack and learn about their culture. Some parents say the programs at the Essential Learning of Minnesota Institute have been a positive influence on their children, with one calling it the “best” after-school program for his three kids.
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Minnesota trial opens window on Somalia terror group

October 19, 2012 in West Central Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The trial of a Minneapolis man convicted in a conspiracy to send young men from Minnesota to fight with al-Shabab in Somalia has provided the most information yet on the ongoing investigation into recruitment for the terror group. Continue Reading

Witness: Minnesota man gave money to recruit of al-Shabab terror group in Somalia

October 5, 2012 in West Central Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) A man who left the U.S. to join fighters in Somalia testified Thursday against a Minnesota man on trial for supporting terrorism, saying he saw the man hand $500 in cash to another al-Shabab recruit while they were at a secret meeting to plan their travel. Continue Reading

Willmar, Minn., School District, parents from African community look to work together to help students succeed

July 19, 2012 in West Central Tribune

It’s frustrating for parents to watch their children struggle in school and not know how to help them. For east African parents in Willmar, the pain of that situation is acute.
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Ellison: Remittances to Somalia still an issue

February 17, 2012 in West Central Tribune

Rep. Keith Ellison said Thursday that officials in Washington are still looking at ways to ensure that Somalis in the U.S. can safely send money to their famine-stricken homeland – including a possible license for banks operating on humanitarian grounds. Continue Reading

Special Forces receive Obama’s praise for hostage rescue

January 25, 2012 in Grand Forks Herald

Publicly, President Barack Obama did not tip his hand about his knowledge of the hostage rescue during his speech, though microphones picked up his congratulation to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as he entered the House chamber Tuesday night.
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Nighttime U.S. military raid in Somalia frees American, Dane; 9 kidnappers killed

January 25, 2012 in Grand Forks Herald

U.S. Special Forces troops flew into Somalia on a nighttime helicopter raid early today, freed an American and a Danish hostage and killed nine of the kidnappers in a mission that President Barack Obama said he personally authorized. Continue Reading

Americans rise in rank inside Somalia jihadi group

January 14, 2012 in Grand Forks Herald

Minnesota sees high Somali population
The October al-Qaida video shows a light-skinned man handing out food to families displaced by famine in Somalia. But the masked man is not Somali, or even African he’s a Wisconsin native who grew up in San Diego. Continue Reading

Somalis protest wire cutoff by pulling money

January 14, 2012 in Grand Forks Herald

Frustrated by Minnesota banks’ refusal to deal with Somali wire transfer businesses that send money to Africa, some members of the Twin Cities Somali community are taking action. Continue Reading

Minnesota Somalis decry money-wire freeze

December 31, 2011 in Grand Forks Herald

Holding signs with pictures of emaciated children and messages such as “Somalis are starving because of U.S. Bank Policy,” more than 200 people rallied Friday to protest the severing of a cash “lifeline” to Somalia. Cars honked in support as drivers sped past the rally at Minneapolis’ Peavey Park. The demonstration was organized by the Somali American Money Services Association (SAMSA). Protesters called for a legal fix that would allow Somali-owned hawalas, or money-transfer businesses, to start wiring money overseas again. Continue Reading