A Somali perspective on the radicalization of Somali youth via the Internet:New worry: Somali youth and Radical websites
americanchronicle.com - Mahdi Haile - February 26, 2009 They turn to the Internet for religious advice, but fall prey to Shabab websites and radical views. We have learned that Somali youth who are in search of a advice, or want to know more about what is happening in their country specially during the Ethiopian invasion or searching "pure" form of Islam have been turning to the Internet for answers — and along the way stumbles onto websites of Alshabab glorifying Jihad and suicides and videos, some of them slickly packaged with music and songs like MTV-style editing, that detail Somalis suffering under Ethiopian occupation. Their anger stoked, their worldview becomes increasingly skewed as they links up with others in cyberspace who share their sentiments. Before long, they become convinced that they must support the cause of violent jihad, of Alshabab or holy war — and a full-fledged "extremism" is born. In the immediate aftermath of 911 the main threat was from established terrorist networks — such as Al Qaeda and its allies, including the Al shabab. Now, The FBI filed offices around the country, including those in Minneapolis, are increasingly concerned with the dangers of indoctrinated Somali youth who one of them blew himself up in Somalia. However there is also self-radicalization that we need to look at it too. The urgency of the issue was underlined by FBI Director Muller He revealed in that, FBI is investigating the disappearance of dozens of young Somali Americans who authorities fear may have been recruited by a terrorist group. But some were radicalized what they found in Internet and Somali youths were found to be searching what Alshabab are doing in Somalia. The Shabab do their contacts and fund rising in recruitment and financing — all over the Internet. And as the Center For Somali Solutions expert noted in their Press releases, the complex situation in Somalia need to be looked at. and Shabab and other extremist be pursued and eliminated. the authority must shut down their websites otherwise, we will not resolve this issues any time soon. Ironically, the process of self-radicalization usually begins with the best of intentions on the individual's part. A young Amal Mohamed who works with the Center For Somali Solutions would say that. her and many of her friends turned to the Internet in their quest for religious knowledge and spiritual well-being. We are In the era of open access to information, the idea of religious knowledge being regulated in a class is wishful thinking. While acknowledging the Somali' plight during the Ethiopian invasion. now we have a government led by Moderate Skikh Sharif. The Ethiopians are no longer in Somalia. now Al Shabab and other extremist is the enemy. Somali youth were attracted by Al Shabab and radical ideas purveyed in the mass media, particularly over the Internet. They had expressed sympathy with the cause of extremists to varying degrees. Therefore, we need to educate the youths. We need to tell them that it is not necessary for them to go and fight.