The Justice Department on Monday announced the arrests and indictments of eight suspects in the ongoing investigation into domestic support for al-Shabaab, a terrorist organization based in Somalia. To date, federal authorities have unsealed criminal complaints against 14 defendants based in Minnesota, however as the Justice Department explained, this investigation is not yet over: "those who sign up to fight or recruit for al Shabaab's terror network should be aware that they may well end up as defendants in the United States or casualties of the Somali conflict."
According to court documents, the defendants provided "material support" in the form of financing and personnel to al Shabaab between September 2007 and October 2009. Many of the men who left Minnesota to train in Somalia went on to fight against Ethiopian forces, African Union troops, and the internationally supported Transitional Federal Government. Among the attacks allegedly undertaken by a former resident of Minnesota was a car bombing at an office of the Puntland Intelligence Service on October 29, 2008.
These arrests are indicative of the global problem that homegrown radicalization poses. Not only must we be concerned about individuals self radicalizing in the U.S. and attacking domestic targets, but we must work to prevent Americans from traveling to foreign countries to carry out acts of terrorism.
Read more about developments in the case here.