'Challenges, lack of opportunity' drove suspected ISIS fighter - KMSP-TV

'Challenges, lack of opportunity' drove suspected ISIS fighter

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More details about the second Minnesota man who is believed to have died fighting in Syria with the terror group ISIS are emerging, and Twin Cities leaders say his story is an example of a big obstacle for the Somali community.

Those who knew Abdirahmaan Muhumed describe him as an outgoing, gregarious man who was involved in the local politics of the Twin Cities Somali community; however, he was also an angry and frustrated father trying to support 9 children from several different mothers. He did not have a job, and local leaders say that may have led him to seek a different life away from the city of Minneapolis, where he grew up.

MORE: 2nd Minnesota man reportedly killed fighting for ISIS

"He had so many challenges, lack of opportunities in life," Mohamud Noor told Fox 9 News. "Those are the things that have driven him to be who he is."

Muhumed is believed to be one of more than a dozen Minnesotans who left the country to fight for ISIS in Syria, and the second -- along with former Robbinsdale-Cooper student Douglas McCain -- to be killed in the process.

There hasn't been much activity on his Facebook page since late last year; however, a woman claiming to be his sister recently posted a plea that read: "If u still live, pls lt us know… I dn't what to say… I always gn love u no matter what."

"I talked to some people close to him," Noor said. "Still, the circumstances surrounding his death are still developing right now, but it's tragic news."

Somali community organizer Omar Jamal told Fox 9 News that Muhumed's death brings back painful memories of the young men who disappeared from the Twin Cities and turned up fighting for al-Shabaab in Somalia a few years ago. According to Jamal, ISIS appears to be using the same playbook -- recruiting vulnerable young people using videos and social media. So far, he says community leaders haven't come up with a long-term strategy to compete.

"You have the same combination of vulnerable kids susceptible to crazy ideas, dissolution, giving up hope on achieving the American Dream," Jamal said. "What's the alternative to fight against these people? We have to come together and do something about this."

Leader Abdi Bihi pegs the root of the problem on a lack of economic opportunity for Somali-Americans, and he has stated a GoFundMe account to help generate funds for job creation. Donations can be made online at the following address: http://www.gofundme.com/gofundthework

MORE: Obama on ISIS, response in Syria

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