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SD Somali Leader Reacts To Terrorist Attack In Somalia

Your browser does not support this object. View the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCiurE5PEkU

Video published August 27, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: KPBS reporter Amita Sharma gets reaction to the deadly terrorist bombing in Somalia from a local Somali leader she asks what the community is doing to prevent local youth from being recruited by terrorist groups.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

THE SOMALI TERRORIST GROUP AL SHABAB CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR AN ATTACK AT A MOGADISHU HOTEL THIS WEEK KILLING DOZENS OF PEOPLE. KPBS REPORTER ANITA SHARMA SPOKE TO THE HEAD OF THE AFRICAN COMMUNITY CENTER IN SAN DIEGO. HE SPOKE ABOUT THE ATTACK AND HIS RETURNS OVER POTENTIAL AL SHABAB RECRUITMENTS OF LOCAL SOMALIS.

Reporter: 33 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED IN A MOGADISHU HOTEL. THE TERRORIST GROUP AL SHABAB HAS CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY. WHAT'S YOUR RESPONSE TO THESE ATTACKS?

THESE ARE VERY HORRIBLE ACTIONS. MUCH OF OUR COMMUNE IN SAN DIEGO IS REALLY LORE -- COMMUNITY IN SAN DIEGO IS REALLY HORRIFIED AND IT'S A PICTURE THAT'S VERY TRUE GRIM. IT'S A REALITY THAT'S EVER PRESENT IN MODERN DAY SOMALIA AND IT HAS EVOLVED FROM SOMETHING THAT IS NOT AS HARMFUL TO WHAT IT IS TODAY AND I THINK THAT INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD HELP THE PEOPLE OF SOMALIA GET A GRIP ON THIS PROBLEM.

Reporter: THE UNITED STATES HAS DESIGNATED AL SHABAB A TERRORIST GROUP. INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS ARE WORRIED ABOUT RECRUITMENT EFFORTS BY AL SHABAB WITHIN SOMALIAN COMMUNITIES HERE IN THE STATES. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THOSE CONCERNS?

IT IS VERY ALARMING BECAUSE MOST OF THE PEOPLE THAT ARE RESIDING IN THE UNITED STATES ARE PEOPLE THAT HAVE FLED TERROR AND VIOLENCE AND MANY OF THEM, THEIR FAMILIES, HAVE BEEN KILLED. SO, YOU KNOW, KIDS THAT ARE HERE FIRST GENERATION FOR THEM TO BE AGAIN ATTEMPTED TO BE BROUGHT BACK TO SOMALIA AND HAVE THE PROBLEMS, BE INVOLVED, IT'S VERY TRAGIC AND THE FAMILIES ARE --YOU KNOW, THEY'RE ALL AWARE OF THIS AND THEY'RE KEEPING VERY CLOSE EYE ON THEIR CHILDREN. IN SAN DIEGO WE'VE BEEN FORTUNATE THAT WE HAVE NOT HAD ANY SITUATIONS WHERE YOUNG MEN HAVE BEEN BEEN TO SOMALIA, BUT WE'RE WORKING WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT. WE'RE WORKING WITH THE POLICE IN TRYING TO MAKE SURE THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN.

Reporter: NOW THERE WAS A SAN DIEGO MAN WHOM FEDERAL PROSECUTORS SAY HAS MAYBE FOUGHT ALONGSIDE AL SHABAB. HIS NAME IS JEHAD MOW SAW OF. HE'S NOT OF SO HE MALL -- MOSTAFA. HE'S NOT OF SOMALIAN DESCENT. HAVE YOU HEARD OF ACTIVE RECRUITMENTS BY AL SHABAB WITHIN SAN DIEGO?

I HAVE NOT HEARD OF IT AND NEITHER HAVE ANY COMMUNITY MEMBERS. WHEN THEY DO THESE SORT OF THINGS WHERE THEY'RE TRYING TO RECRUIT PEOPLE, THEY DO IT IN A VERY LOW KEY BECAUSE IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT'S VERY POPULAR. AL SHABAB IS UNANIMOUSLY REJECTED BY SOMALIS IN GENERAL AND YOU CAN SEE THE TACTICS THEY'RE RESORTING TO. THEY DON'T HAVE MUCH OF A MILITARY CAPACITY AND SO THESE SPECTACULAR ACTS ARE SOMETHING THEY CAN BE CARRY OUT AND FOR THEM TO BE RECRUITING IS SOMETHING THAT'S VERY ALARMING, BUT IT'S NOT SOMETHING THEY WOULD DO OPENLY.

Reporter: SO YOU RUN THE HORN OF AFRICA COMMUNITY CENTER WHICH A LOT OF PEOPLE WITHIN THE SOMALIAN COMMUNITY ACCESS. DO YOU HAVE A STRATEGY OR ARE THERE PARTICULAR POINTS THAT YOU MAKE TO PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY ABOUT PROTECTING ONE'S SELF FROM THESE ELEMENTS?

WELL, WE WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH THE PARENTS AND ALSO COMMUNITY LEADERS AND I THINK IT'S --BESIDES OUR COMMUNITY WE ALSO ACTIVELY COLLABORATING AND WORKING WITH LAW ENFORCEMENTS TO MAKE SURE THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN TO MAKE SURE THAT FAMILIES DON'T FALL VICTIM TO THE TRAGEDIES THAT ARE TAKING PLACE AND SO IT'S A COMMUNITYWIDE EFFORT AND IT'S ALSO A LAW ENFORCEMENT ISSUE AND I THINK IF WE PUT ALL THOSE TOGETHER, WE HOPE THAT WE CAN BE SUCCESSFUL IN THE FUTURE.

Reporter: AND HOW DOES ONE MAKE THE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN WITHIN THE COMMUNITY IMMUNE TO RECRUITMENT BY TERRORIST GROUPS?

I THINK THAT ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS IS THAT WE HAVE A STABLE FAMILY, TO HAVE A STRONG CONNECTION WITH THE COMMUNITY, TO HAVE FRIENDS AND ALSO TO HAVE A FUTURE. MAYBE THEY'RE GOING TO SCHOOL. MAYBE THEY HAVE A JOB, BUT SORT OF A SENSE OF LIFE, A SENSE OF I HAVE A FUTURE. MANY OF THE KIDS WHICH ARE OVERWHELMINGLY IN THAT CATEGORY, THEY WOULD PROBABLY BE VERY IMMUNE AND NONE OF THE CASES THAT WE HAVE HEARD SO FAR THE KIDS HAVE FIT THAT MOLD.

Reporter: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SPEAKING TO ME.

YOU'RE WELCOME.

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