Photojournalist Jonathan Alpeyrie joined Al Jazeera America correspondent Adam May to discuss Al-Shabab's recruitment of Somali youth in the U.S. on the Dec. 27, 2013 edition of Consider This. Alpeyrie visited the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis in November 2013 to learn more about Al-Shabab's recruiting efforts as well as the role of women within the Somali community.
According to census data released in 2011, more than 32,000 people of Somali ancestry live in Minnesota. The largest Somali population in the U.S. is based in and around Cedar-Riverside, but the community has been under federal investigation. According to reports from Reuters and The New York Times, at least 20 ethnic Somali men have left Minnesota to join Al-Shabab since 2007. Investigators looked into the possibility that several of the fighters involved in the September 2013 Al-Shabab attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya came from Minnesota. A November 2013 Associated Press report identified the four gunmen who stormed the mall as ethnic Somalis, noting that none of the four had ever traveled to the U.S.