KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The FBI is trying to determine the truth of a report that emerged Sunday that a handful of Americans, including one from the Kansas City area, were among the Al-Shabab terrorists who attacked a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, over the weekend, killing 68 people.
Citing Al-Shabab sources, CNN reported that three of the suspects were from the United States, including a Gen Mustafe Noorudiin from Kansas City.
Kansas City has a substantial community of refugees from Somalia, and several of them spoke out against the terrorism Sunday.
Yusuf Abdi, director of the Somali Bantu Foundation of Kansas, said, “This is a terrible action and we condemn it. Our heart and prayers are with the people of Kenya. It is very shocking. Those people don’t represent anyone from Somalia or anyone from Africa.”
Al-Shabab is an Islamist terrorist group with roots in Somalia. The group claimed responsibility for the attack on a busy Nairobi mall. They killed at least 68 people, injured 175 more and held others hostage.
Retired FBI agent Michael Tabman knows something about Al-Shabab.
”It sprung its roots in Somalia and has ties to al-Qaeda; they sympathize with al-Qaeda," Tabman said. "As far as Kenya goes, Kenya's been part of an effort to reduce the effect and impact of this terrorist group so they have a sort of retaliation against the Kenyan authorities for the actions they've taken."
Omar Mohamed is part of the Somali Bantu community in the Kansas City area. He knows most of the 750 Somali Bantu who live in Wyandotte County, but no one named Noorudiin.
He also knows the terror Al-Shabab spreads.
“I have family right now in Somalia, and always they're harassing people and doing something very bad, and they don't listen to the government,” said Mohamed.
It is to prevent that kind of malign influence that the Somali Bantu Foundation was formed, its director stated.
“The reason why we have the communities is to mentor our young ones so they will not be misled and they can be better leaders for the future,” said Abdi.
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Word banks are rapidly expanding as times change and technology develops. Spreading into daily conversations (mostly online, natch) are a few words making grandparents shrug.