MSNBC, October 31, 2011
A man who blew himself up in an attack in the Somali capital on Saturday reportedly grew up in Minneapolis and was known by the FBI as one of 20 Somali Americans to have joined an al-Qaida-linked militant group.
Abdisalan Hussein Ali, 22, was suspected of being a member of al-Shabab, the FBI told msnbc.com.
Kyle Loven, the FBI’s chief division counsel for Minneapolis, said Ali was a subject of “Operation Rhino,” an ongoing investigation into Somali youth traveling from the U.S. to Somalia to fight for al-Shabab.
Loven could not confirm whether Ali was indeed the bomber but told msnbc.com that the FBI was “awaiting results from DNA checks at this point.”
Al-Shabab posted an audiotape that they said was made by Ali before he blew himself up during an attack Saturday on an African Union base in Mogadishu that left at least 10 people dead.
In the tape, the young man, who would be at least the fourth American to become a suicide bomber in Somalia, urges other young people to not “just chill all day” and instead fight nonbelievers around the world.
According to The Minneapolis Star Tribune, he graduated from Edison High School and attended the University of Minnesota, where he was a pre-med student, The Times reported. He disappeared in 2008.
The young man in the tape had an American accent and mixed Muslim terminology with American slang as he urged Muslims to carry out attacks against non-Muslims around the world.
“My brothers and sisters, do jihad in America, do jihad in Canada, do jihad in England, anywhere in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, in China, in Australia,” the voice on the al-Shabab tape said. “Anywhere you find (unbelievers), fight them and be firm against them.