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West Bank Somali activist to counter Ellison in Congress

Posted by: under 5th District Updated: March 7, 2011 - 6:05 PM
Abdirizak Bihi

Abdirizak Bihi

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., will not be the only Minnesotan starring in this week’s congressional hearings on homegrown Islamic radicalization.
 
Also at the witness table will be Abdirizak Bihi, Director, Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center in Minneapolis. Bihi has been publicly critical of Ellison’s handling of the disappearance of some 20 Somali youths recruited by a Jihadist group in their native country.
 
One of them was Bihi's nephew.
 
Bihi was tight-lipped last week when he was contacted by the Star Tribune about his role in the hearings. There has been bad blood in the Somali immigrant community about his cooperation with the FBI. But his name was made public Monday by the House Homeland Security Committee, where he will testify on Thursday.
 
Ellison, fearing a witch hunt of American Muslims, has been sharply critical of the hearings, which he has termed “McCarthyistic.” A convert to Islam, Ellison has been publicly debating Committee Chairman Peter King, R-N.Y., for months, including a joint appearance on CNN’s State of the Union yesterday.
 
King contends that Muslim leaders in the U.S. are too often reluctant to cooperate with law enforcement in domestic terrorism cases, the same charge Bihi made against some Somali leaders in Minneapolis during the FBI investigation of the missing Somali youths.
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