By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,525)
Leaders of the Somali community met with Congresswoman Chellie Pingree early this afternoon at their Portland Street office for about an hour. Following the meeting, they held a joint news conference.
Pingree said that the leaders were horrified to see what happened in the shopping mall in Kenya over the weekend. “They are here to find food, shelter and peace, just like we are,” she said. “There is no connection or link to Maine. Our sympathy goes out to the people of Kenya,” she said.
Initial national reports indicated that the terriorist group, Al-Shabab, responsible for the mayhem in Kenya had reached out to a number of cities with Somali residents, including Portland, looking for recruits for its terrorism. Maine has 6,000 Somali refugees. Portland has a substantial number of them within its city limits.
One leader of the community said that he is not aware of any efforts to recruit terriorist in Portland. No one from our community is missing.
Mohamed Yusuf, 24, from Mogadishu, said: “We are doing the same things that our American counterparts are doing. Playing sports, eating hot dogs and texting.”