Somali ‘Travelers’: The Holiest Gang, Part II

Somali ‘Travelers’: The Holiest Gang, Part II

How young Somali immigrants searched for belonging, and found jihad. Second of a three-part series. (Part I )(Part III)

When 26-year-old Shirwa Ahmed, a Somali-born immigrant living in Minnesota, blew himself up in Puntland, Somalia, on Oct. 29 last year, he became the very first American suicide bomber, and a harbinger of a looming crisis. Ahmed sneaked into Somalia in late 2007, followed by potentially scores of other young Minnesotan Somali-Americans.

Since the first wave of "travelers," as they are known, left America, Minnesota has become a quiet battleground. The miniature, homegrown war on terror has pitted government authorities and their allies in the Somali community against fiery youths, hardline mosques and angry, alienated Somali immigrants.

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