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Missing Somali man sparks discussion

Local Somali families spoke Sunday about the men in their lives who they say have gone missing.

According to the Pioneer Press, the families fear they are fighting a jihad in the war-torn country.

This week, one Minneapolis resident was buried after he blew himself up as a part of his role as a suicide bomber in the ongoing civil war, according to the Star Tribune.

The FBI said they only helped to return the body to Minneapolis and would not confirm the death of the man, said to be Shirwa Ahmed, the Star Tribune said.

The Somali community is concerned and speaking out about other young men they worry will find themselves in similar situations after being brainwashed.

"(The missing men and boys) have been financially supported to leave the country with the promise of utopian society," Abdirizak Bihi, Somali community leader told the Pioneer Press. "But they are in harms way."

Bihi's nephew is one of the people missing.

Attorney Mahir Sherif, who represents local mosques, said they are not recruiting men to go and fight, but he told the Star Tribune "he has seen some in the community call young men to arms."

"The whole issue raises some interesting questions," he told the Star Tribune, adding the number of men rumored to have left to fight has dropped from 45 to possibly fewer than 10.

"Let's say they went in answer to a call to stop aggression. Or maybe they just left to protect their grandmother. Do people have a right to return to a country to fight? Will it be a crime?" he asked in a Star Tribune interview. "And does the government even want them back, especially if they have been trained over there?"