Magazine November 3, 2014, Issue

Twin Cities Terrorists

Worshipers attend evening prayers during an open house at the Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center in Minneapolis. (AP/Craig Lassig)
A community reacts to its jihadi sons and daughters

Minneapolis — “Are you a spy?”

Yusuf laughs as he says it, but the question is not unthinkable. I am, after all, likely the only person of pallor within a square half mile, and definitely the only one perusing the goods on offer in the Somali market at the corner of E. 24th St. and 10th Ave. S. — prayer rugs, pastel hijabs, and discount travel packages to Mecca, on sale to Minneapolis’s approximately 30,000 Somalis. The proprietors who eye me quizzically agree: I am not their target market.

When exactly their target market might arrive, though, is a mystery. Dozens of

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