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Somali immigrants defrauding U.S. taxpayers of $100 million to help fund terrorist organizations back home

A recent investigation by a local TV news network found that many Somali immigrants are ripping off American taxpayers and sending upwards of $100 million a year back home to relatives, where much of the money winds up in the hands of terrorist groups.

As reported by Fox 9, acting initially on tips, the station recently concluded a five-month investigation that involved millions of dollars in rampant fraud that was shipped overseas mostly in carry-on baggage:

On the morning of March 15, Fox 9 chased a tip about a man who was leaving the country. Sources said he took a carry-on bag through security that was packed with $1 million in cash.  Travelers can do that, as long as they fill out the proper government forms.

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.

The station spoke to the “go-to expert” in mysterious money transfers, Glen Kerns — a retired Seattle police detective who spent 15 years on the FBI’s joint terrorism task force.

“What we were interested in is where [the money] was going,” he told Fox 9. “It’s an outright crime, it’s unbelievable.” (Related: Texas files suit to end Obama’s unconstitutional DACA program.)

Kerns said he tracked similar money flights that left the country with travelers flying out of Seattle’s international airport. The funds were coming from Hawalas — businesses that are employed to courier money to countries that don’t have official banking systems.

The former officer discovered that some of the money was being sent to a Hawala in a region of Somalia that is controlled by the al-Shabab terrorist organization.

Defrauding taxpayers

“I talked to a couple of sources who had lived in that region and I said, ‘If money is going to this Hawala do you think it is going to al Shabaab?'” Kerns said. “And he said, ‘Oh definitely, that area is controlled by al Shabaab, and they control the Hawala there.’”

So even if the money was being shipped for legitimate purposes, a portion of it was being taken by the terrorist group — or other groups who demanded a cut.

It gets worse.

 As Kerns dug into the shipments, he discovered that a lot of the money was coming from Somalians who were on federal government assistance programs. 

“We had sources that told us, ‘It’s welfare fraud, it’s all about the daycare,’” Kerns told the local news team.

Fox 9 had already reported about five years ago that daycare fraud was rising in Minnesota. Businesses were gaming the system to steal millions in government payments and subsidies that were supposed to help low-income families. For the scheme to work, daycare centers had to enlist people who qualified for child care assistance. 

Surveillance videos showed that some parents would arrive with their kids, only to leave with them a few minutes later. In some cases, no children at all would arrive. But either way, the daycare billed the government for the full day’s worth of childcare. Other video showed a man giving out what was believed to be envelopes with cash — kickbacks for parents in on the fraud.

It’s obscene.

Even in the age of President Donald J. Trump, whose administration is redoubling its efforts to enforce all immigration laws, the United States remains one of the most open, welcoming countries in the world.

If that were not the case we wouldn’t allow so many migrants into the country, and then tolerate them ripping off taxpayers.

The really sad part is this story about Somali migrant welfare abuse is just the tip of the iceberg.

Read more about welfare fraud and abuse at

J.D. Heyes is also editor-in-chief of The National Sentinel.

Sources include:

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