Netherlands: Somali refugee worked for al-Shabab in asylum center

Netherlands: Somali refugee worked for al-Shabab in asylum center

Last year Dutch authorities arrested American-Somali Mahamud Said Omar by request of the American authorities. Omar is suspected of being a key figure in al-Shabab activities in the US, and specifically Minneapolis. His extradition case is still making its way through the Dutch judicial system.

Now Newsweek reports that Omar might have been active in terrorist activity in the Netherlands as well:

Subsequent events raise worries that Al-Shabab may be seeking new recruits or contacts in Europe as well as America. According to Dutch government officials and Bart Stapert, an Amsterdam lawyer who now represents the former janitor, instead of boarding his Amsterdam-Minneapolis flight, Omar went to Dutch authorities and asked for political asylum. Dutch authorities then sent him to a government-supported refugee resettlement facility in Dronten, a new town in the Dutch province of Flevoland, according to Stapert and two Dutch officials who requested anonymity when discussing legal matters. “While in Dronten it is believed he was connected with or working for Al-Shabab,” one of the officials tells Declassified.


According to both a Dutch official and Omar’s lawyer, the Dutch government’s decision to arrest Omar was based at least in part on a report on him from the AIVD, the Netherlands’ small but highly regarded secret intelligence service. Spokespeople for the service have declined to discuss the report’s contents, and Omar’s lawyer says he has not been granted access to the report.