Posted at: 09/23/2013 7:01 PM
By: Katie Eldred
Local Somali Members React to Kenya Mall Siege
Monday was day three of the siege at the Westgate Mall in Kenya. On Saturday, Somali terrorists took over the mall throwing grenades and firing their automatic weapons killing more than 60 people.
Some of the terrorists may have a Minnesota connection.
Several Rochester Somali community members told ABC 6 News that their thoughts were first with the victims in Kenya. But they also said the attack brings many issues to attention. Especially the need to prevent Somali-youth from being recruited by terrorists.
“My first reaction being human, I was just sad," said Mohamed Nur.
Mohamed Nur, a member of the Rochester Somali Community, says the news that it may have been done by a group from Somalia left him with questions.
"Why do they do that, whoever did this was a coward," said Nur.
"Well when we found out they might be Somalis, it made it worse," said Mohamoud Hamud.
Mohamoud Hamud an area community leader says he is especially concerned that some of the terrorists involved may have been recruited from his backyard.
"It made me sad being from Minnesota or the U-S, for those families they might be their children, and they suffer more," said Hamud.
Hamud believes something needs to be done to protect Somali youth from being recruited.
"We have to look at what's causing these kids to act, because they are dying themselves," said Hamud.
Nur says there needs to be an open conversation, to answer the questions of why these Minnesotans and Americans are leaving the country to join in acts of terrorism like that in Kenya.
"It's a big issue, it's not an easy issue when al-Shabaab is recruiting your children under your shadow that's not easy, you don't let them do that," said Nur.
I spoke with one Rochester Somali man who has worked closely with the Kenyan Red Cross in the past. He's hoping that people will reach out to them to help the victims of the incident. We've posted a link to their web site on our site under links.