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AFP probes Somali terror fundraising
From The Australian
THE Australian Federal Police have launched a wide-ranging investigation into suspected terrorist fundraising by Somali Islamic extremists in Australia.
The move reflects growing concerns that small groups of radicalised Somalis in Melbourne have been raising terror money and sending it to fund Islamic jihad in their war-torn homeland. The east African nation has become a fertile ground for terrorists, with al-Qa'ida using the lawless country to regroup and plot new attacks abroad.
Somali Community of Victoria president Abdurahman Jama Osman has told The Australian that a small group of Melbourne-based Somalis are suspected of helping to fund extremists in the capital, Mogadishu.
"There was a fundraising in Melbourne and they said they were going to give the money to the Arab parts of Mogadishu," Mr Osman said. "But many Somalis believe that the money was sent to the Islamic military in Somalia.
In a speech to Somali community members in Melbourne last week, Sydney Somali leader Herse Hilole warned that young Somalis were being seduced by Muslim extremists. "We know there are supporters in Australia who want to recruit young Somalis to go back or support financially the Islamic Courts," he said. "The community must be made aware of this, and we must put a stop to it.”
Some Somali leaders believe more than a dozen young Somali men have returned to their homeland to take up arms for the Islamic jihad.