Kenya

Rep. Peter King Assumes FBI and Law Enforcement Are Looking Into Somali-American Communities in Wake of Nairobi Attack

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Credit: United States Congress/wikimedia

The Somali-based Al Qaeda-linked militant group Al Shabab claims that it carried out Saturday's attack at a shopping mall in Kenya's capital. The group said that the attack was in response to Kenya's participation in a peacekeeping operation in Somalia. Dozens have been killed and some Al Shabab militants remain in the mall.

CNN reported yesterday that "Al Shabab sources" claimed that three of the perpetrators of the attack in Nairobi are Americans. The claim has been rejected by an Al Shabab spokesman.

Whether there were Americans among the attackers or not it is true that Al Shabab has recruited Americans from Somali-American communities in the past.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told ABC's "This Week" yesterday that he hasn't heard that Americans took part in Saturday's attack.

King also said that there are dozens of Americans who have joined Al Shabab, some of whom have been killed.

From CNN:

In an interview with ABC's "This Week," the New York Republican also said he assumes the United States government is looking to prevent any attempts in the U.S. by Al-Shabaab, the group claiming responsibility for the attack.

Al-Shabaab is an al Qaeda-linked Somali group that was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. government in March 2008. It was behind the July 2010 suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda, that killed more than 70 people as they gathered to watch a World Cup final soccer match.

"It's an extremely deadly organization, very well trained," King said. "And it's one of the only al Qaeda affiliates which actually has actively recruited here in the United States. There is at least 40 to 50 Somali-Americans (who) have gone from the United States to Somalia to be trained. A number of them have been killed, but there's others still alive."

King added he hasn't heard whether any of those American jihadists were involved in the mall attack. "We know there's probably still 15 to 20 Somali-Americans who are still active over there."

"The concern would be if any of those have come back to the United States and would use those abilities here in the United States," he continued.

King went on to say that he assumes that the FBI and local law enforcement are examining Somali-American communities:

"I would assume that the FBI and local law enforcement are looking into those Somalia-American communities today … using all their sources and resources to make sure there's no follow-up attempt here in the United States," King said.

King has expressed concern about the radicalization of American Muslims before, holding a series of House Homeland Security Committee hearings in 2011, one of which focused on Al Shabbab's recruitment in the U.S. In his opening statement for the third of these hearings King said the following:

Some argue that al-Shabaab is only a Somali problem, and that the group will never strike outside of the Horn of Africa region. 

That kind of thinking is a glaring example of what the 9/11 Commission called a failure of imagination.

With al-Shabaab's large cadre of American jihadis and unquestionable ties to al-Qaeda, particularly its alliance with AQAP, we must face the reality that al-Shabaab is a growing threat to our homeland.

The video of King's opening statement of the third of these hearings is below:

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  1. “CNN reported yesterday that “Al Shabab sources” claimed that three of the perpetrators of the attack in Nairobi are Americans.”

    Is this the same CNN that reported that the Navy Yard shooter used an “AR-15 shotgun”?

  2. I assume that IRA-lover Peter King also frequently hoped that the FBI and law enforcement looked into the Irish-American Communities for its radicalism and support of terrorism in the 80s and 90s?

    1. I’m sure these Somali-Americans are just lovers of their homeland, trying to win back the freedoms that their fore-fathers once had. That money is probably going to the same “humanitarian relief supplies”, same as the IRA’s did.

      Which, from a libertarian perspective, its hard to argue that arming people isn’t a humanitarian thing to do if they’ve been disarmed by a government. This isn’t meant to imply approval of King, the IRA, or anyone else who kills people wholesale with no regard to their innocence.

      1. Given all of that, Peter King is a aggression made against American sovereignty.

        1. I have no problem with murder-droning him.

  3. Just as you encouraged them to look into Irish American communities after each IRA bombing?

    Blarg

    1. I’m not even sure why King is bothering with an investigation.

      Shouldn’t we just be rounding Somali-Americans up and locking them in camps for their unfortunate choice of ethnicity? To be on the safe side, you know.

  4. The claim has been rejected by an Al Shabab spokesman.

    Hi, I’m Al Shabab, and I endorse this message.

  5. Is there some contest to be crowned the Emperor of the Fuckbags or something? Give Petey King his crown and then tell him to shut up.

    Way to live up to your stereotype, Long Island.

  6. Peter King is the discriminating terrorist supporter. He prefers his white as snow, and drunk to boot.

    1. “The IRA is A-OK!”

  7. Reposting from Free Speech thread, because it’s more topical here. Hope no one’s horribly offended:

    This is the type of thing that could happen here. I believe the chances are much reduced, but still, this kind of public attack could certainly occur in almost any public place in America.

    …And it will be liberals and the left that will call for a pervasive military state if it does.

    If an attack of this type happened here, it would put to bed any hesitation I have to carry a weapon everywhere, including places which are ‘Gun Free’ zones by law: Schools, etc.

    However, the left will never agree that the idea of distributed self-defense is a good thing, so the left will have only one choice: Demand armed para-military units be placed into all malls and public spaces where large numbers of people gather. The sight of sub-machine gun toting officers will become commonplace, just like you see in Israel or other places where attacks are common.

    This has already become status quo. Ride a Ferry in Washington and you’re escorted by two Coast Guard speed boats with manned twin m60s on the bow.

    Think about it… liberals demanding armed troops in every public space. The irony will be too rich.

    1. In the late 80’s, I flew into Leonardo Da Vinci airport near Rome, and there were soldiers all over the place with submachine guns, and I remember thinking “this is fucked up”. And then I remember going into Grand Central Station right after 9-11, and there being National Guard troops all over the place with automatic weapons, and I remember thinking “this is fucked up”.

      I guess my point is, we arrived at fucked up way faster than I would have guessed.

      1. I went to Italy when I was 8, and as a kid, I too was shocked at how many guards with SMGs there were everywhere you went.

        1. I went to Italy last summer. I was amazed that there was no Customs checkpoint upon arrival.

          Talk about a 180 degree shift.

      2. I went to Spain for the Barcelona Summer Games and the Sevilla World fair in ’92, and there was a fucking tank at the airport in Madrid. A fucking tank. I was in middle school at the time and was only mildly aware of the problems with the Basque separatists, but I remember thinking how ridiculous it was.

        1. The ETA bombing in Barcelona in 87 put the Catalons on edge. They had been tentatively supportive of Basque independence, seeing it as similar to their own desires for independence, but hitting Barcelona and killing a bunch of children turned the Catalons against ETA bigtime.

          Still, it was completely alien to me at the time to see that kind of armed presence in a civilian facility.

          1. Unlike the US, Spain actually had a terrorism problem.

        2. I just came back from eight days in Switzerland. I saw maybe four cops the whole time. Strange isn’t it, that when you are neutral and not attacking other nations or butting into their affairs, you are probably going to be left alone.

          1. Either that or you are a small country that doesn’t have a large Muslim immigrant population and is land locked and surrounded by friendly nations, you don’t have to worry as much about security.

            Look creech, the Islamists are just not that into you. They don’t care what you do or what America does. They hate us for their own reasons.

            1. Switzerland’s Muslim population is (in percentage of population) almost six times higher than the US’s

            2. Not that I think they don’t have other reasons, but putting our dicks in their shitty little sandbox wouldn’t have anything to do with that would it?

              1. It probably contributes marginally. But, if you want to buy into blow-back as a comprehensive theory of foreign policy, you have to explain why Japan isn’t the most anti-American country in the world bar none. The truth is, we could pack up our presence in the Middle East, bring everyone home, leave everyone over there to their own devices and they’d STILL hate us. They don’t hate us because they think we’re mean. They hate us because we stand in the way of their interests.

                1. I don’t think there’s any comprehensive theory of foreign policy or one singular cause of international terrorism. That said, nothing about the theory of blowback indicates that all populations will react equally to foreign intervention.

                  1. Interesting proposition. So, the Japanese were a culture unusually receptive to foreign intervention?

                    Also, if we accept the notion that intervention creates local hostility, why wouldn’t the projection of “soft power”, which barring cultural isolation is pretty existential in nature, create local antagonism.

                    Consider the case of Libertopia. Sure, they’d be as non-interventionist a nation as you could imagine. Still wouldn’t change the fact that local elites in Proglodytia would have undying enmity toward Libertopia and its inhabitants. Just Libertopia’s existence would be a thorn in their side, as the great unwashed wondered why the Libertopians got to have all the fun, were a lot richer and had better technology.

          2. In WWII, it helped that Swizterland didn’t have anything Hitler was interested in.

        3. The first time I saw teenie-boppers with FN’s (or maybe Uzis) was at Schiphol Airport (probably early nineties) I was horrified–this is Holland–not exactly a center of either terrorist activities or reckless imperialism.

          And the security questioning before boarding was (and I think still is) more intense than anywhere else other than Israel.

          1. It’s Holland. They don’t put up with skanky porn or illegal drugs.

    2. I know you are trying to trick me into talking about my kids again, but I ain’t falling for it.

  8. Face so punchable.

    1. Backpfeifengesicht

  9. Peter King for President!

    He’s the president we deserve, but not the one we want.

    1. I would have to be Crowley from Supernatural level evil multiplied by unreformed Ben from Lost to deserve a fate that horrible.

      1. I’ve heard that you could clear that particular hurdle in dress shoes.

        1. Its just nice to know that the legend extends, at least somewhat, beyond my own mind.

      2. You know why one of Benry’s names is Dean Moriarty? It’s because fans of Arthur Conan Doyle have speculated that the Mr. Moore in “The Lost Special” was a Moriarty.

  10. I think we’ve found an issue where Dems and Reps are willing to compromise: necrophilia. Peter King calls dibs on foreign corpses, and Obama calls dibs on domestic corpses.

  11. Summary executions. You can’t be too careful.

  12. King is such a moron. They have been doing this for about ten years now. Al Shabab has been a concern to the US for years. Indeed, a few years ago an American blew himself up in a Al Shabab attack in Africa.

    For going on ten years now the bet has been that the next 911 will come from the Somalis. But it hasn’t happened. I think that Al Shabab is content to use the Somali community in America as a fund raising and recruiting source but doesn’t want to risk that by conducting attacks in the US. Why attack America and risk the might of the American military when you can raise money and get recruits in America to conduct your war in Africa, which is what you care about anyway? If you are an American Somali and interested in dying a martyr’s death, you are likely to go back home and do it. That is where the war for them is.

    I used to think Al Shabab was a danger to the American public. Now I have reconsidered that. They are definitely a danger to a lot of people. But I don’t think at least right now they are much of a danger to the American public, provided you don’t travel to Africa.

    1. I used to think Al Shabab was a danger to the American public.

      Peter King is a bigger threat to the American public.

  13. No one would argue against the position that Al Shabaab is a terrorist organization with an agenda that is totally abhorrent. You don’t have to convince me that they’re bad folks, I’m already on board. What is a much tougher sell for me is the idea that Al Shabaab poses a threat to the US at home.

    We don’t have a heck of a lot of involvement (directly, at least) with the Somalian civil war, at least not compared to Kenya, for example, and Shabaab needs all the manpower it can get on the ground. They’re losing, but they’re still fighting a war for actual, physical territory. They haven’t hit AQ level yet, where they’re an ideology free of political boundaries. They’re in bed with AQ, sure, but they’re a Somali nationalist group first and foremost. Just because they’re jihadis doesn’t mean that they’re not primarily concerned with controlling Somalia, specifically ports.

    Frankly, we’ve got more to worry about from Hezbollah because of our connection to Israel and relationship with Iran, and I seriously doubt we’ll see a Hezbollah attack within US borders unless we were to attack Iran directly. And I sure as hell don’t think the fact that some Somali-Americans go back to fight for Al Shabaab is any reason to target Somalian communities here. After all, some Somali-Americans (and Somali-Canadians) go back to work for the coalition government. And most just stay here, because Somalia is hot, poor, and generally unpleasant at the best of times.

    1. They are basically the Islamic Somali IRA. It is more than a bit ironic that King of all people is so concerned about this. You would think he would understand the concept of expats supporting abhorrent terrorist groups back home.

      1. It’s like he’s lacking something. A few things, maybe. Self awareness and a gene. He better not be anywhere near the nomination of the Republican party if they know what’s good for them. The hay that Dems would make out of his IRA connections in a situation where he is he VP candidate, would be merciless and effective, and deservedly so. They probably have enough background on the creep to land him in prison.

        1. Would that he actually ended up there.

  14. “I would assume that the FBI and local law enforcement are looking into those Somalia-American communities today ? using all their sources and resources to make sure there’s no follow-up attempt here in the United States,” King said.

    And libertarians to boot. Since they want U.S. policy to resemble Somalia

    /ROADS!!

  15. Any of the rest of you on mention of Al-Shabab think El Kabong?

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