The case of the Somali Minnesotans (“Minnesota men,” as the headlines had it) seeking to join ISIS was tried in federal district court in Minneapolis in May 2016. Before trial six defendants pleaded guilty. At trial the three who contested the charges were convicted. I covered the case daily on Power Line and was struck by the Muhammads involved in one way or another in the case. I took a look back at what I saw in court in “A tale of five Muhammads.”
Muhammad in its various spellings has become the most popular name by far for newborn boys in England and Wales. By the same token, the Star Tribune reports that “Mohamed” has steadily climbed the chart of the top 10 most popular newborn boys’ names in St. Cloud, a town of nearly 68,000 an hour’s drive northwest of Minneapolis via Highway 94. “Mohamed” is now tied for second place with Liam among the most popular names for newborn boys at the St. Cloud Hospital.
The St. Cloud metropolitan area is home to Minnesota’s largest Somali community outside the Twin Cities. The Star Tribune helpfully adds, however, that St. Cloud is not alone. Of more than 6,000 boys and girls born at HealthPartners hospitals in Minnesota and western Wisconsin in 2017, Mohamed was the thirteenth most popular name. (HealthPartners posted its compilation online five days ago here.)
Readers with a long memory may recall that St. Cloud was the home of Dahir Adan, the immigrant security guard who went on a stabbing rampage at the Crossroads Center shopping mall in September 2016. Adan reminded me of the “Minnesota men” I had seen on trial in the Minneapolis terrorism case. I wrote about him in the Weekly Standard column “A ‘Minnesota man’ strikes in St. Cloud.”
As I said in the Standard column, Minnesota natives are well known for their civility and have largely suppressed questions that naturally arise from the influx of Somali immigrants and refugees over the past 25 years that now reaches at least 100,000 by one respectable estimate (the one used by the Office of the United States Attorney for Minnesota in an agreement with leaders of the Somali community here). Yet no one has asked Minnesotans for their consent to the influx. No one has asked whether the costs vastly outweigh the benefits. No one has asked whether the continuing influx poses an unreasonable risk to native Minnesotans.
The “Minnesota men” on trial in the terrorism case would have been happy to wage jihad inside the United States on behalf of ISIS. They talked of helping ISIS fighters from Syria travel to the U.S. by following their planned path in reverse, going from Turkey to Mexico to San Diego. Fortunately for us, however, prior to their departure they did not perceive the United States to be a battlefield for ISIS.
That’s where Adan differed from the young men in the terrorism case. Adan’s stabbing rampage obviously represented a version of jihad brought home to Minnesota. Indeed, ISIS claimed credit for it. While the Star Tribune continues to celebrate the fairy tale of Minnesota’s increasing “diversity,” the rest of us are left to sort out the reality for ourselves.
PAUL ADDS: A few readers with very long memories may recall that St. Cloud was Lou Brock’s first and only stop in minor league baseball. In 1961, Brock, age 22, batted .361 with a .960 OPS for St. Cloud’s entry in the Northern League (Class C). He stole 38 bases.
Different time, different place.