Minneapolis Fire Investigation Reveals Money Launderer for Al Shabaab

by Jerry Gordon (March 2014)

A Gates of Vienna (GOV) report noted what occurred:

At 8:16am a catastrophic fire broke out at 514 Cedar Avenue South in a predominantly Somali neighborhood of Minneapolis. The blaze began when an explosion blew out the windows in an upstairs apartment, propelling window frames and plywood debris into the street. The resulting fire sent flames twenty feet above the roof. Residents of the building were blown out the windows or jumped from them into the street. Fourteen people were taken to area hospitals.

The explosion occurred in an apartment on the second floor, immediately above the Otanga Grocery in the southeast corner of the building.

The building was gutted by the blaze. Two bodies were found in the rubble, and fourteen people were hospitalized, one of whom died later. Within 72 hours, the building had been pulled down into a heap of rubble by a backhoe.

As firefighters fought to contain the blaze, Fire Chief John Fruetel said the cause of the explosion was not yet known, and was under investigation. The gas utility CenterPoint Energy announced that there were no gas leaks in the Cedar-Riverside area.

Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim US Congressman, Abdi Warsame, an elected Somali émigré city council member and Mayor Betsy Hodges whose recent election relied heavily on their votes.  

Source: The Muslim Issue

report on the unfolding investigation notes:

Wadani Properties in Minneapolis  Source: Refugee Resettlement Watch

The address for Wadani properties is 2200 E Franklin Ave, # 204. One of the other tenants is the Minnesota Republican Party headquarters.

Garad Nor is also the Chief Executive Officer of Dar Al Tawakul General LLC. Dar Al Tawakul General LLC is one of the companies listed in the indictment against the two Rochester citizens found guilty of money laundering for al-Shabaab.

Dar Al Tawakul General LLC is also located at 2200 E Franklin Ave, # 204.

Why might Garad K. Nor have been in Dubai, of all places?

Mr. Nor works for Tawakal Express, an international hawala money-transfer company headquartered in Dubai. Tawakal Express is a globe-spanning enterprise.

The Hawala money transfer system is a lifeline for war ravaged Somalia. Hawala  in Arabic means transfer or remittance. Virtually the only means available  for remittances from the Somali émigré community. A July 2013 TCDaily Planet report saying that the Somali diaspora transmits $1.3 billion annually that supports 40 percent of the Somalia population.


US Department of the Treasury – Interpol Monograph on the background and opaque functioning of the Hawala money transfer system. Also see the US Treasury Resource information on Hawala and alternatives, here.

The GoV investigative report asked a question about why Nor was in Dubai and why the largest Hawala is headquartered there. One answer according to the Treasury-Interpol authors is that Dubai has a large pool of expatriate workers from South Asia where the Hawala system originated. The other is that Dubai is a major gold trading market the bulk of which is transmitted legally and illegally not only to South Asia but elsewhere in the Middle East, for example, Iran.

US Rep. Keith Ellison in Mogadishu, February 2013

report Ellison said:

policy may — well, for sure it's hurting a lot people who have nothing to do with Al Shabaab.

He might start at home with requesting a federal investigation of Garad Nor, the Hawala operator and owner of the property that mysterious exploded in a ball of fire of indeterminate origin at 8:16AM on January 1, 2014.



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