Minneapolis Somalis Reject Terror Ties

    Kenyan security personnel wave at bystanders to take cover as   heavy gunfire erupts from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi Kenya Monday Sept. 23 2013. Multiple large blasts have rocked the mall where a hostage siege is in its third day. Associated Press reporters on the scene heard multiple blasts and a barrage of gunfire. Security forces have been attempting to rescue an unknown number of hostages inside the mall held by al-Qaida-linked terrorists.  (AP Photo/ Jerome Delay)

    Jerome Delay/AP

    Somali community leaders and imams in Minneapolis met Monday night to condemn the Kenyan shopping-mall attack amid claims that some of the attackers lived at least part of their lives in the Twin Cities. The Minneapolis–St. Paul area is home to the largest Somali population in the U.S. (the Cedars-Riverside neighborhood is even known as Little Somalia), and at least 22 young men have left the region since 2007 to join Al-Shabab, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia. Kenyan officials said two or three of the attackers were Americans ages 18 and 19, and another is possibly a British widow of a 2005 London suicide bomber. But Al-Shabab told Reuters that “those who describe the attackers as American or British are people who do not know what is going on in the Westgate building.”

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