Denmark: Somali terrorist was role model for integration
Update: According to MMG's lawyer, PET tried to recruit him three times, as a collaborator or informant, but he refused and told them that he couldn't help them with anything. (DA)
The Somali who tried to kill Kurt Westergaard this past Friday is Muhideen Jelle, according to the Kenyan media, or Muhudiin M. Geele. The Danish media now refer to him as MMG (h/t Gudmundson)
I added another story below - MMG's ex-wife and sister claim that the Danish security service tried recruiting him after he came back from his Jihad trip to Somalia. What we don't know is whether they succeeded. It could certainly explain why he wasn't being followed.
Taking the two articles together - MMG went to Somalia in 2005. In 2006 PET tried to recruit him. By 2007 he was recruiting Danish Somalis to Jihad in Somalia. In 2008 he was collecting money in Sweden for Jihad. He then returned to Somalia. He was arrested in Kenya in 2009. The Kenyan authorities apparently didn't want to deal with a terrorism trial against him and so deported him back to Denmark.
Who is Abdi?
The 28 year old Somali with the short nickname who attacked Kurt Westergaard Friday with an axe in the cartoonist's home in Aarhus is a man with two faces: the good and the evil.
He's up for a long prison sentence for two attempted murders. He has experience as a fighter and sympathizes with the most brutal terrorists in East Africa.
But Abdi also has a past as a caring father to three children, of which the youngest is two and the oldest seven, and as a teenager he was a respected role model in Aalborg.
Three of the men who know Abdi's past in the north Jutland town best confirm this.
Ekstra Bladet spoke yesterday with Jens Larsen, head of a local club for immigrants, Nuuradiin Hussein, a social worker in Aalborg Municipality, who both had great expectations for Abdi, and Mohammed Abdulle, board member of the mosque in Danmarksgade.
They can almost not praise him enough. But Abdi didn't want to be a model for integration and Danish community support.
"Suddenly he evidently wanted revenge," says Mohammed Abdulle.
Abdi came to Denmark with a big sister in 1997. In Aalborg Øst they were united with their mother [who had come to Denmark in 1995]. Their father was dead.
Abdi quickly stood out in the New Danes group of 38 Somali boys who showed up in town as the jetsam of war and famine.
"He was calmer and quieter than the others - more mature. While several of the others rowdy and had smart jargon and tested the limits with threats and fights, Abdi kept himself in the background. He thought what the others were doing was stupid and honestly said who we should watch," remembers former youth counselor Nuuradiin Hussein, who today is a social worker for Aalborg Municipality.
The friendly, serious boy was a clear success. He distinguished himself with fluent Danish, good grades from technical school, and easily got a job in elderly nursing, cleaning or care for the elderly. For several years he was a homework tutor and mentor for young immigrant troublemakers in Aalborg.
"He was never in an A-class. Abdi didn't need that. He was very active," says Mohammed Abdulle, who is also spokesperson for the Somali Cultural Association.
But something went wrong. A seed sprouted and grew and smashed Abdi's marriage and opportunities in Denmark.
"It's a shame. He was really a great kid. Maybe the last young Somali people would suspect of going to ruin," says Jens Larsen, head of the municipal leisure club Fri-Stedet, which is mainly aimed at young immigrants.
But popular among other Somali boys, he wasn't.
"Nah. We was a little isolated. He wasn't good at 'scoring' with girls and playing football. The things which typically give status," explains Nuuradiin Hussein.
As an adolescent he married the person Somalis call 'the sweetest girl in Aarlborg'. A girl from a good, well-integrated family.
The wedding was a show of success. Abdi dropped out of his engagements as homework tutor and mentor. As the years passed he isolated himself more. Secretly he cultivated a more radical interpretation of Islam that the others in the mosque. His great computer know-how opened a new world on YouTube. In the same period he sported a goatee.
"We noticed that Abdi and another young Somali suddenly didn't want to greet women," says Nuuradiin Hussein.
The friend moved to years ago to London, a known incubator of Islamism. He hasn't shown himself in Aalborg since.
Ekstra Bladet learned that in 2007 Abdi was seen recruiting other Somalis in Aalborg's neighborhoods of apartment blocks to the war flaring up in Somalia. This however surprises Nuuradiin Hussein: "Abdi isn't a strong person. He doesn't have the assertiveness to win people over to an issue."
His harsh religious attitudes and wish to go to war were purportedly not his wife's cup of tea. The marriage creaked.
But consideration for the family had to give. While the bloody war was at its highest, Abdi traveled twice to his homeland. Ekstra Bladet learned that he got the rank of officer. After one of the trips he supposedly came back injured to Aalborg.
Nuuradin Hussein met him shortly afterward in the mosque at Danmarksgade.
"People only go to Somalia if they have pain in their life. I'm certain that this also holds for Abdi. He was unusually quiet. Most others who were in Somalia then, talked a lot. Abdi said nothing. He was really hard to read.
Last year Abdi finally broke up with his wife. They divorced and Abdi moved to Copenhagen, where he supported himself since as an IT programmer. Secretly, according to the Police Security Service, he cultivated his new contacts in al-Qaeda in Kenya and the brutal organization al-Shabaab.
As late as last summer he was in Kenya, where he was arrested. Officially because his travel papers weren't valid. Unofficially, because he was suspected of being an accomplice with East-African terror networks.
Abdi was put on a plane home in September, after which he settled down in the Copenhagen suburb of Hvidovre.
The ambitious terrorist sympathizer visited Aalborg since. In the mosque he enjoyed time with his children. Nice and friendly, the good Abdi.
The last months, before Abdi came to Grøndalsvej with an axe and a knife, he disappeared. Nobody suspected anything wrong. Certainly not in Aalborg.
"It was a shock for his family, and a hard blow for all Somalis," says club head Jens Larsen.
"I don't understand it. He should have continued his battle in Somalia, if he was so abnormal," says Nuuradiin.
"Who is he? I don't know. There must be something very wrong mentally with the man I knew," says Mohamed Hussein.
The family is hiding. Abdi's mother went to Sweden. He ex-wife left the apartment at Konvalvej with the couple's three children, and the sister of the country's most discussed immigrant, opens the door just a crack: "I don't want to talk about it. I don't have time." And she slams the door.
Source: Ekstra Bladet (Danish), h/t Uriasposten
In 2006, the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) attempted to recruit the man who recently attacked cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.
The attacker's ex-wife, Muna Hassan Abdi, and his sister, Fatima, both make statements to that effect.
- The police wanted to recruit him as an informant, and he grew morose and increasingly introvert, the ex-wife tells daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
- The police thought that he had participated in military operations directed against Ethiopian forces while in Somalia, and that he travelled to and from Somalia in order to participate in the war effort. But he only went to Somalia in 2005 in order to visit family, says Muna Hassan Abdi.
Niels Christian Strauss, defence attorney for the 28-year old Somali man, tells Jyllands-Posten that the ex-wife's statements "is largely in accordance with the information that I already possess".
Furthermore, the suspect's sister tells TV2 that the Danish Security and Intelligence Service "a year or two ago were pressuring him to work for them."
She does not think that her brother planned the attack - in which he broke into cartoonist Kurt Westergaard's home wielding an axe - on his own. She feels that the pressure her brother was under from the Danish Security and Intelligence Service can have prompted the attack.
Source: DR (English)