King says he wants to investigate possible terrorism recruiting in Maine

U.S. Sen. Angus King said in response to this weekend’s attack at an upscale Kenyan mall that he would investigate attempts by terrorist groups to recruit members from the Somali community in Maine.

NBC terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann said on the Sunday morning “Today Show” that al Shabab is known to recruit members from the U.S., including in Portland, Maine.

Kohlmann said al Shabab terrorists are recruiting in “Minneapolis, in Portland, Maine, Seattle, Washington and San Diego. … Shabab has had quite a bit of success in terms of finding local people in these different cities … and bringing them to Somalia.”

WGME 13, a CBS affiliate in Portland, reported Sunday that one of the terrorists in the Kenya mall operation was from Maine. The station’s source was a German magazine that collected the information from a now-suspended Twitter account that claims to belong to al Shabab. The Somali-based terror group, which has ties to al-Qaida, also indicated on Twitter that other Americans were involved in the Nairobi operation that left 68 people dead and injured three Americans.

Maine’s independent senator said late Sunday, “It appears that a terrorist group based in Somalia has claimed responsibility for the horrendous killings this weekend in Kenya. According to news reports, this group has made attempts over the past several years to recruit from Somali refugee communities around the world, including England, Sweden, Russia, and the Middle East as well as in the U.S., in Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas, Arizona and Maine. Any such activity in Maine is of especial concern to me and I will be working with Homeland Security, the FBI and my colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee to gather the facts of this situation and help guide the appropriate response.

“In pursuing this matter, justice should be swift and sure for those involved in this crime, including anyone with connections to Maine. At the same time, however, we must avoid assigning blame to members of our refugee community generally, the vast majority of whom came here specifically to avoid such violence and want nothing more than the chance to live peaceful and productive lives, as generations of refugees to our country have done before them.

“Terrorism is particularly insidious because so much harm can be inflicted by so few and this incident only underlines the importance of constant vigilance in the pursuit of terrorist threats to our country.”

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Comments

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

NSA

Is it my imagination or is this precisely the kind of thing that NSA spying was supposed to keep tabs on? I wonder if the people who were so outraged that the government was monitoring our cellphones and internet connections still think it is such a bad idea or would they prefer we ignore terrorist funding and recruiting coming out of Maine? I keep reading on this forum people who say it is only the foolish who would trade their rights for a little safety. Well I guess there are a lot of foolish people in this country because most of us applauded the passage of the Patriot Act during the Bush administration and millions foolishly submit to security screenings every time they board a plane. I think it is extremely foolish to devalue safety and security because if you don't have that your rights are not nearly so enjoyable nor so secure.

Jeff Douglas's picture

Refugees

Remember their refugees escaping an oppressive homeland. That they go back to for vacation from time to time.

Simon Diaz's picture

Abdishakur Sheikh H., 22

Abdishakur Sheikh H., 22 Jahre alt, aus Maine (USA)

RONALD RIML's picture

Unless his Great, great, great, great, great, great, great...

Grand-Daddy was born here -

He's 'From Away'

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