The Great Somali Welfare Rip-Off

$100 million in taxpayer cash shipped out of country in past year alone.

At the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the carry-on bag bulged with $1 million in cash from a welfare rip-off scheme. The loot was headed for Somalia, some of it to regions controlled by the al Shabaab terrorist group, and this shipment was part of $100 million sent over the past year alone. 

This scheme was not uncovered by the New York Times, CNN, “Frontline” or any “investigative” journalist in the old-line establishment media. It came to light in “Millions of dollars in suitcases fly out of MSP, but why?” a story by Jeff Baillon of KMSP, a Fox News outlet in Minnesota and the subject of a Powerline blog by John Hinderaker on Monday.  

Back on March 15, Fox 9 got a tip about a man leaving the country with $1 million in cash, but this was only part of the story. “Fox 9 learned that these cloak-and-dagger scenarios now happen almost weekly at MSP. The money is usually headed to the Middle East, Dubai and points beyond. Sources said last year alone, more than $100 million in cash left MSP in carry-on luggage.”

Glen Kearns, a former Seattle police detective formerly with the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, told Fox “it’s an outright crime, it’s unbelievable.” The operator was part of “Hawalas,” businesses that transport money to countries that have no legitimate banking system. 

According to Kearns, the money was going to an area controlled by al Shabaab, which operates the Hawala there. As Kearns learned, those sending tens of thousands of dollars “happened to be on government assistance in this country,” the USA. As Kearns’ sources explained, “It’s welfare fraud, it’s all about the daycare,” a story Fox 9 had been covering for five years.

Somali fraudsters would start a daycare center and sign up low-income families that qualify for child-care assistance funding. Parents would check in the kids and promptly leave, but the center would bill the state for a full day. 

Fozia Ali, a city official in Hopkins Park, ran a daycare center in south Minneapolis that billed the government for more than $1 million in bogus childcare services. The FBIs Craig Lisher told Fox that “some of the funds went overseas.” On trips to Dubai and Kenya, staying in luxury hotels, Fozia Ali “used an app on her phone to bill the state of Minnesota for childcare services.”  She is now serving time in federal prison, but the rip-off did not end there. 

In 2015, investigators tracked $14 million in those mysterious suitcases at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. By 2016 it was $84 million and last year a full $100 million, all ripped off from American taxpayers. Fox reporters asked Kearns if any of the money was funding terrorism.

“I say absolutely,” Kearns confirmed. “Our sources tell us that. Good sources, from the community leaders.” And as Fox noted, “fraudsters in other states are now using the Minnesota playbook to rip off millions of public dollars meant to help kids.”

Way back in November of 2002, one year after the 9/11 attacks, historian Roger McGrath authored “The Great Somali Welfare Hunt.” As he noted, Lewiston, Maine, a mill town of 36,000 on the Androscoggin River, “has been the destination for hundreds of Somali Muslims.” This was due to the Refugee Act of 1980, which changed the priority of favoring refugees from Communist countries and rebranded “refugee” as any person unwilling or unable to return to their homeland because of a fear of persecution etc. 

According to Renee Bernier of the Lewiston city council, the Somalis “came in droves off the busses” and “some made the welfare office their first stop.” They could grab five years of assistance, public housing and Section 8 vouchers. As McGrath noted, “employment opportunities are evidently a low priority.”

In similar style, as Soeren Kern observed, “Jihadists Exploit Welfare Benefits” in Europe. In Austria, jihadists used welfare payments to finance trips to Syria. Jihadists in Belgium received nearly $60,000 in welfare benefits and used the money to finance terror plots. Some jihadists continued to receive welfare after they had traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight for the Islamic State. 

In Britain, Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi used taxpayer-funded student loans and benefits to bankroll his terror plot. The Islamist Anjem Choudary, a supporter of ISIS, was taking home $32,000 a year in welfare benefits, plus money for housing and income support. 

As Kern noted, “Choudary believes that Muslims are entitled to welfare payments because they are a form of jizya, a tax imposed on non-Muslims as a reminder that they are permanently inferior and subservient to Muslims.” 

In all likelihood, the Somali Muslims in Minnesota believe they are likewise entitled to the money of non-Muslim American workers. So they rip off American taxpayers, stuff suitcases with cash, and send the money winging to Islamic terrorists abroad. 

As Glen Kearns told Fox, “my personal opinion is we need a nationwide task force to clamp down on this type of fraud.” It might take just a bit more than that. 

Criminals and welfare cheaters abound in the United States. A ballpark figure for the number the USA should import is zero. 

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