Somali Muslim gangs in Minnesota grow more dangerous ASSOCIATED PRESS Feb. 7, 2011
Muslim immigration problems in America: 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.
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.
Oh yes, blame everyone and eveything except the root cause. Interesting that the AP failed to mention that these Muslim gangs are doing the same thing across the country. In Maine, Muslim gangs are wilding, leaving terror in their wake. And in San Francisco, Muslim gangs target gays, shooting them with BB guns in a wave of terror. The pattern of Islamic supremacist violence grows in “gateway” cities like Lewiston, Maine; Shelbyville, Tennessee; St. Cloud, Minnesota; Clarkston, Georgia; and Jamestown, North Dakota.
“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.”
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 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.”