On July 27, the New York Republican held hearings in Congress on the
recruitment of Canadians and Americans by Al Shabab, deemed by the late
Osama bin Laden "one of the most important armies in Islam."
Officials told the committee that Americans recruited by Al Shabab —
some of them in mosques in Minneapolis and San Diego — were being trained
in Somalia in bombing and other skills, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the Americans could be
ordered to return home and conduct mass-casualty strikes in the United
"There is an enormous amount of travel by Somali-Americans between U.S.
cities and East Africa," King said. "While most of this travel is legitimate
senior U.S. counterterror officials have told the committee they are very
concerned about individuals they have not identified who have fallen in with
Al Shabab during trips to Somalia, who could return to the U.S.
Leading U.S. commanders have agreed that Al Shabab represented the new
strategy of Al Qaida in the wake of the U.S. assassination of bin Laden.
They cited AQAP, the alleged patron of Al Shabab, as a network that utilizes
dual nationals, including Americans.
"It [Al Qaida] will morph, it will disperse," Adm. Eric Olson, commander
Special Operations Forces, told the Aspen Security Forum on July 27. "It
will become in some ways more westernized, [with] dual passport holders,
fewer cave dwellers."
In all, 18 of the Americans and Canadians were killed fighting with Al
Shabab. Three of the Americans were said to have become suicide bombers.
"They [Al Shabab] are engaged in an ongoing, successful effort to
radicalize dozens of Muslim-American jihadis, who pose a direct threat to
the U.S.," King said.
The committee, criticized by Muslim groups for its examination of
Islamic radicalism, has assessed that Al Shabab was linked to Al Qaida.
Staffers said the link was strongest with Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula
"It is deeply troubling that from the very beginning, the
Muslim-Americans in Somalia were trained by top Al Qaida operatives,
including several who were tied to Yemen's Al Qaida in the Arabian
Peninsula, which is now generally considered our biggest homeland threat,"