We’re in trouble now, people. The Somalis of Minneapolis are joining the jihad. That’s according to a story that came out this weekend claiming that young Somali-Americans are flocking to dear old Somalia to join the jihad.
Sounds pretty scary, but if you read through the story with a cold eye, you start to get the feeling it’s mostly hype. This is good practice for you rookie war nerds, so I’ll quote the whole first paragraph and you tell me, what’s wrong with this picture?
“The funeral for Shirwa Ahmed last week in Burnsville, Minnesota, punctuated a growing national security threat metastasizing inside the U.S. — one Homeland Security and law enforcement authorities have quickly taken note of. Ahmed, who killed himself in a suicide bombing attack in Somalia in October, is just one of up to 40 men from the Twin Cities area who have disappeared and are feared to have returned to their homeland for training with the al-Shabaab terrorist group to wage jihad.”
You have to think about this story like you were an Al Qaeda Human-Resources manager. Here’s the situation: you’ve got this volunteer, Shirwa, who lives in Minneapolis and he’s ready to give his life for the global jihad. What a catch! He can probably speak American English, and if his family came here when he was 12 or younger he maybe even speaks without an accent. That means that he can pose as a black American, somebody whose family has been here for hundreds of years and has no connection to Al Q. If you’re from the Al Q. HR Department, you’re thanking Allah for a catch like that.
And you send him to Somalia as a suicide bomber?
See the problem here? It makes no friggin’ sense at all, in global jihad terms. For Osama and his friends, that’s like sending a billion-dollar-plus B-2 bomber on a kamikaze mission to blow up a stop sign. There just aren’t that many guys who speak American English who are willing to work with Al Q., and when you get one, you pamper him, groom him, fatten him up for some high-value mission that involves boarding passes and box cutters. You do not, repeat not, use him as human hamburger.
Especially in Somalia. What targets are left in that wasteland? There’s not a thing worth the life of a major asset like a Minnesota-raised Somali. I mean, if nothing else, just think of the comedy possibilities, with this skinny black smiling jihadi talking like the people in Fargo, sawing away at the pilot’s throat with a boxcutter but trying to be Minnesota nice about it: “Oh golly, gosh darn it, I’m gonna have ta cut your throat but I sure hope you have a nice day in the meantime!”
The article mentions a few Americans who’ve died fighting for al-Shahaab, but they’ve all died fighting in Somalia. Somalia ain’t worth shit. So either the connection between al-Shahaab and Al Qaeda is all hype, or—and this is where I’d put my money—they’re so damn stupid they can’t coordinate their personnel, don’t have the vision to see what use you could make of guys like Minnesota Shirwa, and send them off to die in the scrub like any ignorant Somali goat herder.
The only proof the article gives that al Shahaab looks so far like another loud-talking Islamist woof troop. By the way, “Shahaab” which means “meteor,” is also the name of a much more serious weapon, an Iranian ballistic missile based on a North Korean design. These Somali shouters are quoted telling America, “We’re coming for you! We’re going to exterminate you all!” Yeah. I seem to remember a hairy dead guy named Arafat who used to talk that way just before his puissant PLO guerrillas got splattered all over the floor again. Woofing doesn’t prove a thing. The quietest military power on earth is China.
As long as guys like Shirwa from Minneapolis are flying out of American airports to Somalia, they should get upgraded to first class and helped on their way. If they want to come back, that’s a different story. But here again, you gotta read smart, think it through, not just let the scare-stories get to you. If you were going to be a sleeper jihadi working against America, would you—I mean, for God’s sake—would you go to a terrorist training camp in Somalia that’s bound to be full of double agents? That’s the surest way on this planet to announce yourself as a terrorist suspect and make every no-fly list around, not to mention the very good chance of just getting quietly shot with no questions asked. If you were a real terrorist with a real organization, you’d convert to the Baptists, study electrical engineering in Alabama, blog on Free Republic about wiping out the Muzzies, and then, after a few years of living la vida un-loca, board a domestic flight with, say, a sharpened piece of plastic from the frame of your carry-on bag. Big, big difference between that and pulling your suicide string to blow up a roadblock in Puntland.
What’s probably happening with these Somali idiots is that they’re joining the long, long line of American kids who got bored with being rich and living the easy life and decided to go get themselves killed for a bunch of treacherous bandits fighting under a fancy name with “freedom” in it, off in some godforsaken part of the world where all the locals would sell their firstborn for the chance to live in the cushy American neighborhood these idiots left behind.
That’s been going on forever. Everybody knows about the American commies who volunteered for the Spanish Civil War, but there are dozens of other examples of Americans who should’ve minded their own business getting killed for people that washed about once a year.
Just on a hunch, I googled “American volunteer Greece Independence” because I just knew that the 1820s Greek war against the Turks was the sort of thing that would’ve drawn all the bleeding-heart trust fund brats on the East Coast to go waste their lives. And sure enough, look what I found:
“Another young American who fought in Greece was Jonathan Miller of Vermont. In July 1824, the Boston Greek Committee accepted his application to go to Greece. Boston, New York, and other big cities had committees gathering money, supplies, and offering political support for Greece. As aide-de-camp for General Jarvis, Miller was in the thick of things and wrote articles that were published and widely read in America. He saw action near Nafplion where he met the most famous of American volunteers, Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe.”
If you want proof how nothing ever frickin’ changes, just look at what this idiot Miller wrote about his big adventure: “With the Greeks I am willing to suffer for the cause of religion and freedom. Call me in America a crusader, or what you will, my life is devoted to the overturning of the Turkish Empire. God is on the side of the Greeks.”
So there you go. Vermont farmboys fighting Muzzies on behalf of sleazy Greek bandit chiefs, Brooklyn commies practicing their Madrid lisps for the proletariat and dear old Uncle Joe, or Somali immigrant kids quitting their jobs at Starbuck’s or Kinko’s to give their all for the noble cause of some khat-chewing gunslingerclan boss—there’s one born every minute. And luckily for everybody, there’s one dying every minute too, dying stupid.
Gary Brecher is the author of the War Nerd. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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