Somali Leader Stunned To Learn He’s On No-Fly List
(WCCO) —Since last summer, dozens of young Somali men have disappeared from the Twin Cities.
And the FBI has focused its attention on the Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center in Minneapolis. Two of the leaders at that Mosque were put on the so-called no-fly list. One of them is a volunteer youth coordinator named Abdulahi Farah, but he says he’s done nothing wrong.
“It was a very bad experience,” said Abdulahi Farah. He has been the youth coordinator volunteer at Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic center for two years.
He’s also a Somali outreach worker for the Richfield school district. Last fall he was told he couldn’t board a plane.
“He just said, ‘Ya know, you’re on the no-fly list and you just can’t go on the plane.’ I said why? He didn’t know — he said ‘Google it,’” said Farah. “I felt like I was found guilty before innocent — and you would say this is not America.”
Farah was planning on going to the Hajj with his new wife. The pilgrimage to Mecca is a big deal.
It’s a requirement that Muslims do this at least once in their lives.
“It didn’t come into mind once that we would be stopped from going to Hajj,” said Farah. “You wouldn’t think that something like that would happen in America where someone who has not done a crime, someone who serves their community, someone who always tries to be positive and tries to add something positive to the community.”
The FBI’s had its eye on the Mosque because a former member blew himself up in Somalia last fall.
Investigators want to know if Mosque leaders persuaded young men like him to go fight overseas.
“The only thing that I know I’ve done is reach out to some at risk youth and try to teach them the right way and so forth,” Farah said.
WCCO-TV called the Transportation Security Administration and a spokesperson told us the no-fly list is classified, so she couldn’t say if Farah was on the list or not.
Sonya Goins, Producer