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A new Stockholm syndrome
Ten subway stops from downtown Stockholm is "little Mogadishu," a drab suburb of the Swedish capital where radical Islamists are said to be recruiting the sons of Somali immigrants for jihad in the Horn of Africa.
Police and residents say about 20 have joined al-Shabab, an al-Qaida-linked group waging a bloody insurgency against Somalia's government, and many of them came from the suburb of Rinkeby - the heart of Sweden's Somali community. According to SAPO, the Swedish state security police, five of them have been killed and 10 are still at large in Somalia.
The issue has gained notice at a time of worsening fears of Islamic radicalism in the Scandinavian countries, home to more than 40,000 Somalis who have fled their war-ravaged homeland. These fears sharpened with the Jan. 1 attack by a Somali immigrant in Denmark on a cartoonist who caricatured the Prophet Muhammad.
"It's a small group but they have power," said Abadirh Abdi Hussein, a 25-year-old hip-hop artist and "110-percent Muslim" who has become the best known Somali in Rinkeby because of his campaign to counter al-Shabab's influence. "People don't speak up against them. They don't dare."
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