US law enforcement has arrested several people suspected of helping Al Shabab, a Somalia terrorist group. Do those helping the group see Al Shabab's actions as terrorism, or as part of a nationalist struggle?
Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP
Over the past year American law enforcement officials have arrested several American citizens and residents on charges of aiding Al Shabab, the rebel group in southern Somalia. At first my impression was that these arrests primarily involved people in the largest Somali-American communities, especially Minneapolis, Minn. But a pattern of arrests elsewhere, especially in California, is convincing me that Al Shabab has supporters – still seemingly few in number – across the US. This poses serious problems for policymakers in Washington as well as for law enforcement.
Here is a partial list of recent arrests (spellings of Al Shabab vary in press reports/releases):