Latest gang killing highlights crisis in Minnesota capital
By Dan Lyman – 10/29/2019
A deadly shooting between rival gang members in Minneapolis highlights the growing crisis of East African clan warfare in Minnesota’s capital region.
An operative of the 1627 Boys gang was charged with second degree murder after allegedly shooting a high-ranking member of the Somali Outlaws during a drug deal in Minneapolis.
Mustafa Ali, 25, was shot three times in the chest by 18-year-old Mahad Ali (no known relation), police say. Mahad Ali was also shot during the altercation and suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Mahad Ali’s mother told detectives the two men had a long-running “beef” leading up to the shooting.
“The slaying was the latest in a bitter feud between Cedar-Riverside neighborhood gangs and their rivals, who claim the area around Karmel Mall,” the Star Tribune reports. “But police and community leaders say that some of the bloodshed has shifted to the city’s North Side in recent months.”
According to charges filed against Mahad Ali, “both gangs are known for retaliatory and escalating violence that often manifests itself in drive-by shootings, attempted murder and murder. They are known by law enforcement to attack each other over using the same drug dealers.”
In September, the father of another high-ranking Somali gang member was killed during an ambush that was reportedly “staged to look like a home invasion,” according to police.
During a single night in March, five men of Somali descent were shot in different incidents across Minneapolis.
Somali gang violence has plagued Minneapolis for well over a decade.
A 2009 CBS report titled “Rise of Somali Gangs Plagues Minneapolis” noted that seven Somali men had been killed in the span of 10 months, all by fellow Somalis.
“It was all gang activity, totally, 100 percent,” Shukri Adan, a former Somali community organizer told CBS at the time. “The police don’t want to say that but everybody else knows that.”
Victims of Somali violence are not confined to the local East African community.
In May, a group of Somali teens armed with hammers and bars reportedly attacked commuters at a rail station in Minneapolis.
In 2016, Dahir Adan, a 20-year-old Somali Muslim, stabbed 10 victims at the St. Cloud Crossroads Center mall.
Also in 2016, a mob of up to 30 Somali men traveled to the upscale Lake Calhoun neighborhood and prowled the streets while yelling threats of violence and rape at residents, according to reports.
“They were screaming at the house that they were going to kidnap you and they were going to rape you,” one resident told local media. “It was a very traumatizing experience.”
The International Institute of Minnesota estimates that as many as 150,000 Somalis reside in Minnesota, and that 80 percent are concentrated in the Minneapolis area.
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