Osman Ahmed, whose 17-year-old nephew Burhan Hassan disappeared last November, has been working his contacts back home to try to find his nephew. He knows the FBI is also on the case, but he says law enforcement is mainly concerned with making sure the men don't cause harm in the United States.
Bringing people out of a war zone is another matter, he said.
"Actually, it's very tough [for] law-enforcement agencies, especially the FBI, to go back and get information from Somalia," Ahmed said. "But as Somalis, we know each other, we have a tribe over there, we have friends, we are connected to the Somali government because we supported it. So we are trying in any way we can to get information."
Ahmed reached out to a childhood friend in Somalia. His old pal Abdirashid Mohamed, is now Minister of Commerce in Somalia's new transitional government.
As the minister of commerce, Mohamed said he doesn't have any power to send the men home.
"But as a minister, I'm an influential person and I can bring the issue on the table of the council of ministers," he told MPR in a phone interview from Mogadishu.
The commerce minister admits he's not just motivated to help his old friend. He's got strong political reasons to join the search. The group the young men have allegedly joined, Al-Shabaab, is the government's main enemy. ..more..http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/03/30/somali_search/