Somali refugee Dahir Adan attacked nine Americans with a knife at a mall in St. Cloud, Minn. before an off-duty police officer shot and killed him on Sept. 17, 2016.
Two months later Somali refugee Abdul Razak Ali Artan attacked 11 Americans with a knife and then a car on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus before a campus police officer shot and killed him on Nov. 28, 2016.
All 20 Americans survived.
The 2016 attacks were further evidence that many of the more than than 101,000 Somali refugees who have been resettled in the United States since 2001 (according to the Department of State’s interactive website) have not assimilated well in their new country.
On Jan. 27, President Trump signed an executive order that temporarily stopped the issuance of visas to citizens of seven Middle Eastern and North African countries, one of which is Somalia. (The others are Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen.) The executive order also temporarily banned refugees from all countries from arriving in the United States.
Minneapolis has the largest Somali community in the United States, with an estimated total of 70,000. Columbus has the second-largest Somali community in the country, estimated to total between 45,000 and 55,000.
Adan, the Minnesota mall attacker, arrived in the United States in the 1990s with his father and other members of his family when he was 2 years old. They were initially resettled in Fargo, N.D., but moved to the St. Cloud area several years ago.
Adan’s brother, Abdullahi Adan, is currently jailed in Fargo on drug charges.
Artan, the Ohio State attacker, arrived in Dallas in June 2014 with his mother and seven siblings, as Breitbart News reported previously:
Catholic Charities of Dallas has confirmed that they provided “shelter, clothing, and other basic humanitarian services for a short time in 2014” to “an individual whose name matches the name of [an Artan] family member.” That assistance began on June 5, 2014, when the family arrived at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, from Pakistan via JFK Airport in New York. It continued for 23 days until June 28, 2014, when the entire family departed for Columbus, Ohio.
Artan, his mother, and siblings lived in Pakistan for several years, where they, like most of the Somali refugees who are living there temporarily, were unable to obtain asylum and secure permanent resident status.
“Pakistan is not as welcoming of Somali refugees as is the United States. The unanswered part of the question is why the United States has not asked Pakistan to be more welcoming of Somali refugees,” as Breitbart reported previously:
“Somalis living in Pakistan have limited rights mainly because Pakistan has not ratified the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. They are not eligible to take up permanent residence here; they cannot do any business or move around the country freely. Unless they are registered as refugees with UNHCR [the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees], their stay in Pakistan remains illegal, ” according to The Herald.
The small Somali community in Pakistan, estimated to number between 400 and 4,000 in total, is almost entirely Muslim. More than 99 percent of the 100,009 Somali refugees who have arrived in the United States since 2002 (99,672 in total) are Muslim, according to the Department of State’s interactive website, while about one percent of Americans are Muslim, according to Pew Research.
“Somali refugees are the most difficult to deal with. They are easily manipulated towards criminal activities, making it difficult to negotiate with them at times,” according to a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees official working in Pakistan, who spoke with the Express Tribune in 2012.
It is unclear why Obama administration Department of Homeland Security officials approved Artan and his family for acceptance into the federal refugee resettlement program in 2014, as Breitbart reported:
Many of the Somali refugees who live [in Pakistan] wish to emigrate to the United States or another country in the West. Very few of them are approved by the United States Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS) to participate in the federal refugee resettlement program.
Breitbart News has asked the USCIS what uniquely qualified Abdul Razak Ali Artan, his mother, and six siblings to be accepted into the federal refugee resettlement while many other Somali refugees living in Pakistan have not been accepted. USCIS has not responded to the inquiry.
“This seven-year stay in Pakistan by Artan and his family seems very fishy to me. Pakistan is a safe haven for Muslim refugees. The refugee camps there are also well-known breeding grounds for Islamic terrorism,” Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch tells Breitbart News.
A number of other Somali refugees have been involved in crimes reported recently in the national press.
Somali refugee Mohamed Hari Ayanle, recently arrived in the United States, was charged with criminal sexual misconduct in December. The alleged crime took place on a bus traveling between Minneapolis and Grand Forks, N.D.
In 2015, “Minnesota authorities charged Somali man Ahmed Hersi Abdi with two first-degree sexual misconduct for allegedly raping a 10-year-old girl in her apartment.”
Six young Somalis in Minnesota: “Abdullahi Yusuf, Zacharia Abdurahman, Hanad Musse, Abdirizak Warsame, Adnan Farah and Hamza Ahmed — have pleaded guilty to conspiring to travel to Syria to join ISIS,” Minnesota Public Radio reported in May.
“[T]hree remaining suspects [arrested by the FBI]— Guled Omar, 21; Abdirahman Daud, 22; and Mohamed Farah, 22 — are set to stand trial … on charges including conspiring to provide material support to ISIL and to commit murder abroad,” MPR added.
“U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis didn’t sugarcoat his words … as he sentenced three Minnesota men on terrorism charges,” KSTP reported in November:
“This was a jihadi cell,” Davis said firmly to the entire courtroom. “Everyone talks about Brussels or Paris having a cell; we have a cell in Minneapolis.”
In the spring of 2014, a group of friends in Minnesota’s large Somali community began inspiring and recruiting each other to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State. Some succeeded in making the trip, but others didn’t.
Nine men were prosecuted. Six of them pleaded guilty, and the other three went to trial in May.
The three suspects who went to trial – Omar, Daud, and Farah – were found guilty of “conspiring to support a foreign terrorist organization and to commit murder abroad” in June.