Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Feb 7th, 2011

Somali Gangs Move into Sex Trafficking, Fraud

Criminals in Minneapolis area are expanding their activities to other parts of the U.S.

Image: Jeanine Brudenell with young Somali origin people in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis police officer Jeanine Brudenell talks with Somali young people in Minneapolis, Minn., who were on hand to sign up for a police Citizens Academy geared toward Somali kids. (Photo credit: Jim Mone / AP)

By Amy Forliti

Feb. 7, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS — The girl was 12 when the gangsters told her the rule: They would sell her for sex to men outside the gang, but members of the Somali Outlaws or the Somali Mafia would use her for free. …

The enterprise described in a federal indictment has shocked members of Minnesota’s Somali community, the largest in the U.S.

And it suggests that gangs known in recent years for armed robberies, burglaries and even killings of fellow East Africans have evolved into more lucrative activity, and are taking their crimes from Minneapolis to other parts of the country. …

Minnesota is also the center of a federal investigation into the travels of roughly 20 young Somali men, believed to have returned to their homeland to join the terror group al-Shabab.

There’s no link between the terror investigation and the Somali gang activity, but members of the community say some of the same factors — including isolation, a need to belong to something, no father figure at home — can lead kids down the wrong path. …

Full story


Related reports on this site

Somali Terror Suspects Indicted (Aug. 7, 2010)

Fears of ‘Homegrown Terrorism’ (Dec. 12, 2009)

FBI Probing Somali Terror Link (March 12, 2009)

Minnesota Somalis Jihad-Bound? (Jan. 26, 2009)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday

Video: “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life”

Focus on the Family ad (MSNBC, Feb. 7, 2010) — The controversial TV spot featuring football star Tim Tebow and his mother Pam, aired during the 2010 Super Bowl. (00:30)

One year ago today, I featured the controversial “Focus on the Family” anti-abortion TV spot featuring football star Tim Tebow and his mother Pam, aired during the 2010 Super Bowl.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — February 7, 2009

Army Ponders Suicide Prevention


Soldier suicides exceed combat deaths (NBC Nightly News, Feb. 6, 2009) — The fight to save soldiers’ lives has moved away from front lines as a shocking rise in military suicides has prompted U.S. Army officials to step up suicide prevention efforts. NBC’s Ron Mott reports. (02:19)

Two years ago today, on Feb. 7, 2009, I reported that Gen. Martin Dempsey, commander of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, said that the Army, to battle a growing suicide rate, may have to start teaching soldiers how to handle stress from the first day they take their service oath.

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