Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


St. Cloud Somalis growing frustrated with FBI investigation

MinnPost photo by Ibrahim Hirsi
Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud

Hard to be patient, given what’s at stake. The New York Times’s Mitch Smith reports: “Frustration is growing among members of the Somali community [in St. Cloud] who are eager for official information about a stabbing attack at a mall Saturday that left 10 people injured and the suspect, Dahir Adan, shot dead by an off-duty policeman. The episode is being investigated as a potential terrorist attack by the F.B.I. … ‘I don’t believe the terrorist part,’ said Jamal Ali, 16, who said Mr. Adan was ‘a respectful, nice guy’ who behaved normally last Thursday when giving him a ride home after they played basketball at a local gym. … Halima Aden, a freshman at St. Cloud State who was homecoming queen last year at the high school Mr. Adan attended, said, ‘As soon as they released the name, it was like “Terrorism, terrorism, terrorism” ’ in the comment sections on local news websites. … ‘Had his name been James Johnson,’ she asked, ‘would the headline say “Terrorism?” ’”

Sure, you could vote now, but what about the gaffes?? The Star Tribune’s J. Patrick Coolican reports:Voting begins in Minnesota today, one of the earliest states in the nation. … Voters can request a ballot from the Secretary of State or go to locations like city halls and county buildings to cast their ballot, six weeks ahead of Election Day Nov. 8. … This is the first presidential election year in which Minnesotans do not need an excuse to vote absentee, which gives voters the opportunity to vote now.”

This is kind of surprising. MPR’s Solvejg Wastvedt has a report on the charter school debate: “A very small number of Minnesota students actually go to charter schools. Just over five percent in the 2014-2015 school year. … But you wouldn’t know it by the size of the debate the publicly financed, independently run schools can stir up.”

Shocker here. The Rochester Post Bulletin’s Tom Weber writes: “A Banned Books Week voting campaign at the Rochester Public Library is getting plenty of attention — but maybe not the kind of attention librarians anticipated. … The ‘Vote to Ban’ campaign invites library patrons to enter a voting booth and cast their vote to ban certain books. … It’s obviously a tongue-in-cheek exercise, to impress upon library patrons that even the greatest and most respected works of literature have been challenged or outright banned. … However, not everyone is catching the irony, said librarian Katherine Stecher.”

In other news…

Stem cell-based research and drug screening: “MN Cup Names Stemonix Best Business Idea of 2016” [University of Minnesota]

OMG he’s heard of us: “Anthony Bourdain calls Minneapolis an ‘unexpected foodie city’” [City Pages]

Wood that it were: “Is Timber the Future of Urban Construction?” [The Smithsonian]

More like St. Crawl: “St. Paul I-35E shutdown tops Twin Cities weekend road woes” [MPR]

Cool: “Workshop gives Native American youth the chance to be digital storytellers” [Duluth News Tribune]

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Robert Owen on 09/23/2016 - 03:30 pm.

    Terrorism Headline

    ‘Had his name been James Johnson,’ she asked, ‘would the headline say “Terrorism?” ’

    I suspect if a Mr. James Johnson had been questioning shoppers to see if they were Christians and moving on to the next potential stabbing victim with any answer of “yes” then yeah, the headline would be Terrorism. There probably wouldn’t be a follow up article in the Strib worrying about “backlash” either.

  2. Submitted by Jim Roth on 09/24/2016 - 07:29 am.

    A double standard

    Based on past reporting by media of many criminal acts in many different places I agree that there appears to be a double standard as far as concluding that the perpetrators may be terrorists. I highly doubt that James Johnson would immediately be labeled a terrorist in a St. Cloud shopping mall type attack. It is far more likely that it would be characteerized as an isolated incident by a person who is likely mentally ill.

  3. Submitted by tim johnson on 09/24/2016 - 06:05 pm.

    “only” 1 in 20?

    “A very small number of Minnesota students actually go to charter schools. Just over five percent in the 2014-2015 school year.”
    Looks like a journalism major that got a D in math wrote this.
    That’s more students than are LBGT and you probably could throw in the total who were physically or frequently bullied, too, and not come up with more than 5 percent.
    I’m guessing this reporter wouldn’t begin any article “A very small number of Minnesota students actually are gay or lesbian or transgender or frequently or physically bullied…….” when it amounts to one in 20.

    And speaking of math: since Somali males in Minnesota are, statistically, about 1,000 times more likely to be a terrorist or hold ideas linked to Islamist terrorist than a white bread guy such as “James Johnson,” it’s Runyonesque: “The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.”
    (Math: about 30 Somali guys identified as such among a population of about maybe 30,000 Somali guys ages 15 to say, 60, in the Twin Cities/St. Cloud metro nexus; versus about 1 in any control group among say 1 million general guys in the same age range in the same region…And of course, there’s pretty good reasons to peg the number of Somali supporters of Islamist terror at, well, let’s say, “a little over 5 percent,” of the general Somali population, based on many factors including surveys of the population’s beliefs and opinion. Maybe there’s a “very, very small” amount…. or not. But just to be safe and reasonable, lets say Somali guys in Minnesota are only about 300 times more likely to be a terrorist than any generic “James Johnson” in Minnesota. And remember, if you go all national on this, the probability of a Somali male to a generic American male, hyphenated or not, to be a terrorist is several thousand times greater…)
    Add in the fact that this stabber reportedly asked victims if they were Muslim before he stabbed them, and the odds get pretty long, so….you can take it to the bank.
    And ask why it IS that nobody assumes “James Johnson” is a terrorist when he stabs 10 people at a shopping mall.
    Of course, any mass deadly stabbing is terroristic, by definition, in the broader notion of “terror.” But there is a separate, more limited meaning to what we call, implicitly, political/religious terror in our day that doesn’t include any mass attack, like the Columbine high school boys.
    Today’s lesson: sometimes striving to be politically correct makes people say and write stupid stuff.

Leave a Reply