MINNESOTASTAN: Somali Muslim gang violence more dangerous than ever
Gee, I wonder how many of those 80,000 Muslims that Obama is bringing into this country as refugees are from Somalia?
STATESMAN–(H/T Black Infidel) -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.
For more than two years she was taken on “missions” to abandoned garages, men’s bathrooms, apartments and hotels, enduring hours with multiple men so gang members could get money, pot or booze. Though her mother confronted two of the men early on and warned them the girl wasn’t even 13, they continued to prostitute her.
Somali Muslim sex gangs abduct young white girls for prostitution
Eventually some of the gang members took her on the road to new customers in Nashville, Tenn., and the man she called her “boyfriend” is accused of using a cell phone to send images of her engaging in sex acts with men in the car along the way.
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 moved into more lucrative activities and are taking their crimes from Minneapolis to other parts of the country.
“It’s clear the life of the gang in the community is getting much more complicated,” said Omar Jamal, an advocate for the Somali community in Minneapolis. “It’s one thing to go out and have a random action. It’s something quite new to the community to have organized sex trafficking.”
In recent years, authorities and the community have been increasingly working together to fight the gangs and to steer Somali youths in positive directions. Community centers and mosques set up youth basketball and soccer tournaments to keep kids busy, and they’ve held forums to discuss issues as they arise — including a recent meeting on sex trafficking.
Somalis began arriving in Minnesota in the early 1990s — refugees fleeing civil war in their homeland and finding welcome in a state with a strong tradition of helping newcomers. But as young Somalis entered the school system with little or no formal education or English skills, they were targeted by established gangs for being different. So they formed their own groups.
Group of young Somali Muslim men posted a video of themselves attacking pedestrians and bicyclists in St. Paul.
“They were trying to find identity,” said Hassan Mohamud, the imam at Islamic Da’wah Center, a youth-oriented mosque and cultural center in St. Paul. “They do not belong to Somalis. They do not belong to Islam. They do not belong to America. So they found their own system. They had good intention. At first the good intention was to help and support each other and protect. But they eventually changed that support system to harm.” (What a surprise, Somali thugs committing crimes)
The federal indictment unsealed in November in Tennessee charges 29 people with crimes from sex trafficking to credit card fraud to witness intimidation. It said the accused were members or associates of three Somali gangs — often acting as one larger gang — bent on forcing girls into prostitution for their own profit.
The indictment outlines allegations involving four victims and hundreds of thousands of dollars in credit card fraud. One girl was prostituted in Nashville and in Columbus, Ohio, and another was raped by men in a Minnesota hotel room, the indictment said.
Jamal said that over the years, the Somali gangs realized they needed to generate a steady income. The crimes alleged in the indictment illustrate that at least some might have turned to sex trafficking and credit card fraud as a way to make money.
“It’s a gradual growth of becoming more active, becoming more serious,” Jamal said. “It speaks in volume of how the community has failed collectively to save the minors, especially the non-Muslim girls.”
Most of those indicted in Tennessee are in custody there, said Van Vincent, the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case. When asked about the victim who was just 12 when first sold for sex — and identified in the indictment as “Jane Doe Two” — he would only say, “She is currently safe.”
Jeanine Brudenell, a Minneapolis police officer who has focused on Somali gangs and crime trends for five years and became the department liaison with the community in 2008, said Somali gangs have had a presence in Minneapolis since 2000. Gang activity began growing around 2004, when a 32-year-old Somali woman was murdered during a botched robbery. Brudenell said aggravated robberies increased in 2005 and 2006. And in 2007 and 2008, there were seven gang-related killings in a 10-month period.
Still shot from video of Somali Muslims attacking bikers
“A lot of the crime was being committed against people in their own community. Somali suspects were on the whole victimizing Somali people,” she said.
Gang members started with street robberies but realized the risk of getting hurt or arrested was too high compared with the
profit potential, Brudenell said. The street robberies stopped for a while after a fatal 2006 mugging that drew media attention. After that, the Somali gangs began committing more burglaries of businesses, she said.
Though Brudenell said the street robberies and burglaries still happen, she wasn’t surprised by the gangs’ move to human trafficking. She said the gangs are good at adapting and don’t show the same “small-mindedness” of traditional local gangs, who often skirmish over turf.She described the Somali gangs as more loosely organized than other gangs. There’s no real leader, so if someone goes to prison, the group won’t stop its activity, she said.
Brudenell works to build trust in an East African community that came from extreme violence and a corrupt government and traditionally turns to elders to handle problems. She said efforts to curb gang activity have been successful through a combined effort of engagement, intelligence, gang documentation and good police work. (Riiiight, that’s why crime in Somali Muslim areas is rising wherever they are)
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