U.S. Attorney says no indication of terrorists recruiting in Idaho

U.S. Attorney says no indication of terrorists recruiting in Idaho

Print
Email
|

by Scott Evans

Bio | Email | Follow: @ScottEvansKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on September 24, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 24 at 6:08 PM

BOISE – U.S. officials are still trying to confirm reports of whether two or three of the terrorists involved in the mall attack in Kenya were American.

And that brings up a broader question, that of terrorist organizations recruiting right here in the United States.

The terrorist group, 'Al-Shabaab,' is the organization claiming responsibility for the attack. That group is known for recruiting within the United States.

The images from the attack in Kenya are shocking as the terrorists, cowards as the president of Kenya called them, opened fire in a popular mall.

Seventy-two people were killed and most were civilians. Five others killed were terrorists and over a hundred more people were injured in the attack.

The reports of Americans being involved are unconfirmed, but it’s not a stretch since the Somali-based group, Al-Shabaab has recruited in the U.S. before, specifically in Minneapolis, home to the largest Somali refugee population in the country.

With the increase in social media being used to recruit for terrorist acts, recruitment can happen anywhere.

This past May in Idaho, the FBI arrested Uzbek national Fazliddin Kurbanov on terrorism charges for teaching people how to build bombs to target public transportation. Kurbanov was living in an apartment off Curtis Road in Boise.

"It can happen anywhere,” said U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson. “It's happened in lots of places all over the United States. It just requires the vigilance of our law enforcement and of our communities that when criminal conduct is occurring, that we're able to identify it and get to the root of it."

As for Al-Shabaab recruiting Somalis in Idaho, here's what Olson told KTVB.

"There's no need to worry. There's no indication the Somali population here in Idaho has been the target of Al-Shabaab," said Olson.

In fact, the Somali refugee population, which makes up over nine percent of Idaho's refugee population, is not even being specifically watched by law enforcement, because just like any population, the vast majority, Olson said, are law abiding citizens.

"So the refugee population is not what we look at for criminal conduct,” said Olson. “We look at specific acts and then if there are acts of criminal conduct we follow up on those."

Just like other criminal activity Olson said it's a community responsibility to make sure terrorism doesn't get a toehold. So we should watch for signs, just like other crimes.

And in the case of recruiting or potential terrorist acts, we should watch for those advocating violent extremism and preaching messages of hate.

As for the terrorism charges here in Idaho, Fazliddin Kurbanov’s trial is still set to begin in July of 2014.

Print
Email
|