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Somali Dog Bites Grey Lady

So, the Somali al-Shabab Islamist terror squad commits mass murder in a mall in Kenya. USA Today recounts their glorious deeds in the name of their religion:

The al-Shabab terrorists who seized a Kenyan shopping mall for four days tortured, maimed and mutilated some of their 67 victims, leaving a tattered scene of ghoulish, gruesome remains that investigators likened to scenes from a horror movie.

Hostages were left hanging and had their eyes gouged, others were dismembered. Others had their throats slashed or were castrated and had fingers amputated, according to media reports quoting soldiers, medical personnel and investigators sorting through the rubble of the collapsed mall.

Kenya’s The Star, quoting a forensics doctor, said all of the victims were mutilated. Britain’s Daily Mailreported children stashed in refrigerators with knives in their bodies.

“You find people with hooks hanging from the roof. They removed eyes, ears, nose. Actually if you look at all the bodies, unless those ones that were escaping, fingers are cut by pliers, the noses are ripped by pliers,” said the doctor. The Star said he declined to give his name.

The FBI has been looking into Shabab recruits from the Minnesota Somali community, some 20 of whom are believed to have gone to Africa to join the jihad. Kenyan authorities believe seven of the Shabab who assaulted the mall might be Minnesotans, though this hasn’t been confirmed yet.

Naturally, the US paper of record worries about the real victims: the Somali immigrants in Minnesota who might face stigma from their American neighbors. And you know, that’s a legitimate story. The NYT published an op-ed piece by a US journalist who has spent time in that community, and he says the radicals exist, but are few. OK, fine. But how many stories has the Times done exploring the world of the Somali immigrant community in Minnesota, and the role radical Islam plays within it? On that topic, searching for “Shabab” and “Minnesota” on the Times website returns this story from 2009 which barely touches on it; it reports :

The case represents the largest group of American citizens suspected of joining an extremist movement affiliated with Al Qaeda, senior officials said. Many of the recruits had come to America as young refugees fleeing a brutal civil war, only to settle in a gang-ridden enclave of Minneapolis.

The men named on Monday face federal charges including perjury, providing material support to a terrorist organization and conspiring to kill, maim, kidnap or injure people outside the United States.

Law enforcement officials are concerned that the recruits, who hold American passports, could be commissioned to return to the United States to carry out attacks here, though so far there is no evidence of such plots.

“The potential implications to national security are significant,” said Ralph S. Boelter, the special agent in charge of the Minneapolis field office of theFederal Bureau of Investigation. He added that the nationwide inquiry would continue with the cooperation of many Somali immigrants and that more arrests might be coming.

It also returns a story from the same time that gets into it pretty well. It gets into the process of how these young Somali men became radicalized, though it might have done more to explore the role of the mosque where some of the recruiting took place, and the family cultures. Still, it was helpful. But it came out four years ago. Four years ago, the government won terrorism indictments against 20 of the young Somali-American men in Minnesota for their participation in the Shabab. How have things changed — or not changed — in the Somali community in Minnesota since then? Is the Times interested? Is it as least as interested in that question as it is in whether or not some Joe Bob in Minnesota is going to think ill of Somali Muslims living in his state because some of them went overseas and may have been involved in torture and terror against innocent civilians in the name of jihad?

It is so wearisome how whenever something like this happens, the first reaction of so many American journalists is that putative rednecks drawing unkind conclusions are the worst threat. Yes, this is a perpetual bee in my bonnet.




about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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