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Somalia-based al Shabaab may attack US: FBI director

Last Updated: Saturday, October 3, 2009 - 15:55

Washington: FBI Director Robert Mueller has expressed fears that al Qaeda linked Somalian terrorist group al Shabaab may attack America.

Mueller was responding to a question whether al-Shabaab would send American recruits back to the US to launch attacks.
"I would think that we have seen some information that the leaders would like to undertake operations outside of Somalia," Fox News quoted Mueller, as telling the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

Mueller said he is "absolutely" concerned that Americans who travelled to Somalia to train as terrorists would have US legal status and would therefore be able to return to the United States and carry out attacks.

According to a US counterterrorism source, the al Shabaab has exploded since 2006, and it is becoming a full-fledged al Qaeda affiliate, similar to al Qaeda in Iraq.

“In many cases, the operatives who guide the group in East Africa have pledged allegiance to Osama Bin Laden in person, and in some cases the al Qaeda leader has entrusted them with missions outside of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border,” he was quoted, as saying.
Al Shabaab training camps are now well-established in Somalia, and at least 1,100 foreign fighters have joined the terrorist movement in the country.

In October last year, a Minneapolis man, Shirwa Ahmed, became the first known American suicide bomber, the FBI said.

Ahmed, who travelled from Minnesota to the training camps of al-Shabaab, is one of nearly two dozen men from the United States who authorities believe joined the group.


First Published: Saturday, October 3, 2009 - 15:55
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