It’s not a “Somali” problem, it’s an Islamic problem…


Somali’s reach out to youths…

While mourning two more homicide victims — this time in Fort McMurray — the Somali community in Edmonton continues to persevere, reaching out to at-risk youth.

Since August 2008, 10 young Somali-Canadian men have been gunned down in northern Alberta. Most of the victims have been linked to the drug trade.

“It’s a very sad situation,” said Mohamed Abdi, spokesman for the Somali-Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton. “It’s a problem that is recurring again and again. The community’s affected. It has been going through this for a while now.”

Charges have been laid in only one of the 10 deaths.

“We’re trying our best to educate the youth and prevent them from getting into trouble,” said Abdi, whose society runs several programs to keep young people away from the lure of crime and gangs.

Fort McMurray RCMP continue to investigate last week’s slayings of cousins Idiris Abess, 23, and Saed Adad, 22.

Their bodies were discovered on the morning of Feb. 17 in a downtown Fort McMurray apartment.

Mounties are withholding the cause of death.

Abess moved from Toronto to Fort McMurray in 2007 in search of work, said his sister.

Adad, listed by police as a Torontonian, travelled to Fort McMurray more recently.

Both men were known to police, but the RCMP drug and gang units aren’t involved in the investigation.

Abess and Adad are the 25th and 26th Somali-born men to be killed in Alberta over the past four years, said Mahamad Accord, executive director of the Alberta Somali Community Centre.


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