At a mosque in a bleak industrial neighbourhood in north Toronto, Imam Saed Rageah devoted his sermon yesterday to denouncing the suicide bombings plaguing his homeland of Somalia.Jihad a "trend"? Well, that's one way to look at it. Another is that as long as jihad is the way and sharia the goal (which, pace the fretting imam, is the real Islam), lads are apt to heed the siren call of Holy War and try to earn their posthumouos payoff (i.e. an eternity of Tiger Woods' sex life, without the intrusive tabloid media hounding your every boff).
"This is not in Islam," he said.
The congregation of the Abu Huraira mosque kneeled and listened, but it was those who weren't present that made his words resonate: a group of young men who vanished this fall and are feared to have joined a Somali militant group.
Among the missing are Mahad Ali Dhore, a 25-year-old Markham man who fled to Canada from Somalia at age nine and had almost finished his degree at York University when he flew to Kenya and disappeared.
Also missing is Mohamed Elmi Ibrahim, nicknamed "Canlish" after the Scarborough neighbourhood where he grew up. Canadian Security Intelligence Service officers have also been asking members of Toronto's large Somali community about Khalid Aden Noor, Mustafa Ali, Ahmed Heybe Ahmed, Abdirahman Yusuf and Mohamed Ali Gacal, a Minnesota man who had apparently visited Toronto.
Nobody knows for sure what happened to them, but their families, the Imam and counterterrorism investigators are concerned because of a pattern of similar behaviour in the United States, where at least 20 young Somali-Americans have gone missing only to turn up in Somalia with Al-Shabab, an armed Islamist group aligned with al-Qaeda.
The same trend has surfaced to varying degrees in the U.K., Australia and Europe. Last week in Mogadishu, an Al-Shabab suicide bomber killed two dozen people, including three government ministers.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Missing "Youts" Ensnared by Jihad?
Call out the "deradicalizer". More local lads seem to have gone AWOL. By Stewart Bell in the National Post: