CNN:s utrikesnestor Nic Robertson och terrorismexpert Paul Cruickshank har ett reportage om al-Shabaab med anledning av den konferens som i dagarna hålls i London. Tyngdpunkten ligger förstås på hotbilden mot USA, men som vi börjar bli allt mer vana vid är också Sverige ett av få länder som pekas ut som problematiskt.
"At a summit in London Thursday on Somalia one of the most pressing concerns was that Islamist militancy being incubated in the failing state could result in terrorist plots being hatched against the West. Earlier this month the Somali militant group Al-Shabaab formally merged its operations with al Qaeda.
'If the rest of us just sit back and look on, we will pay a price for doing so,' British Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday. Countries like the UK, the United States, Denmark and Sweden who are grappling with integrating large Somali immigrant communities have been among the most concerned about the potential threat.
Last July a UK threat assessment stated that the threat from Somalia had significantly increased and that British militants who had traveled to the country were “returning to the UK to plan and conduct terrorist operations.” According to one reported estimate more than a hundred British residents have traveled to fight and train in Somalia.
Many but not all of the Western militants traveling to Somalia have been Somalis. Increasing pressure from drone strikes on militants in the tribal areas of Pakistan in the past several years made Somalia a more attractive destination for jihad for western militants of all backgrounds, according to counter-terrorism officials.
Danish and Swedish security services have also been particularly concerned because of the extensive presence of Al-Shabaab recruiters within Somali communities in their countries. In January 2010 one of the group’s operatives attempted but failed to assassinate a Danish cartoonist, Al-Shabaab’s first terrorist plot in the West."I USA betraktas nu al-Shabaab som ett av de största hoten på hemmaplan, enligt Peter King, som leder the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security.
"King told CNN he believed no terrorist group currently posed a greater threat to the United States homeland.
'Right now Al-Shabaab has to be our main concern because of the fact of such easy travel back and forth, because there is a large number of [U.S. recruits], and the fact that there is such open recruitment,' he told CNN.
'The ultimate threat would be that they would take the skills they learned in Somalia being trained, and come back to the U.S. as suicide bombers,' King said."Motsvarande farhåga är naturligtvis giltig också för Sverige.
CNN-rapporten är intressant också för att den tecknar en mindre rosenskimrande bild av somaliers integration i Minneapolis än vi är vana vid att höra här hemma.
"Stevan Weine, a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois in Chicago who has conducted extensive field research in the Somali community in Minneapolis, told CNN late last year that not enough is being done to confront radicalization in the area at the community, local, or federal level.
'There continue to be voices of extremism on the internet and in the community that anybody can have access to, and no strong counter-narrative has really yet emerged. What really concerns me is that so many young people have been touched by this message, some likely pretty far along in the process of being prepared for mobilization to go to fight in Somalia,' he told CNN.
According to Weine in many ways the experience of Somalis in Minneapolis more closely resembles that of North African immigrants living in the suburbs of Paris or British-Pakistanis living in the outer neighborhoods of London than the experience of the mostly upwardly mobile American Muslim community.
'The lack of integration of many Somalis in Minneapolis, poor living conditions, the fact that 60% live below the poverty line, and feelings of lack of purpose and discrimination have all created a fertile climate for Al-Shabaab’s recruiters, which the recent economic downturn has only aggravated,' Weine told CNN."Sverige, som lär vara ännu sämre på att integrera somalier, torde vara ännu mer illa ute.