Some news out today from the New York Times discussing a video made by Al-Shabaab that raises the question of a possible attack on the Mall of America in Minnesota, much like the one Shabaab carried out on the Westgate Mall in Kenya. And here's a link showing a bit of that from our Twin Cities Fox channel. Chilling stuff.
Back in 2010, I wrote a novel based on the stories I had heard about young Somali-American men being recruited in the Twin Cities to go join the terrorists and fight to take over Somalia. ALL THE YOUNG WARRIORS was published the next year. The second book in the series was published in 2014. And I can't believe we're still talking about this in 2015, with the recruitment efforts around the Cities actually growing, not just for Al-Shabaab, but for the Islamic State, too.
And now, a warning about bringing the war home to the Mall of America? Wow.
I'm pretty sure there will be another Warriors novel about Mustafa and Adem fighting its way out of my head and onto the page in the coming months. There's something about this story that is just...well, it's like rubbernecking at a fresh car wreck. We've got a first aid kit. We've got CPR training. We've got a phone to call 911. And yet in many cases, we feel powerless to do anything except slow down and drive on by. We hope someone else made the call. We hope someone else saved those people.
But someone will stop. Someone will lend a hand. Someone will call. If it ever happens to me, I hope I have the nerve to do what it takes to help save lives.
Sometimes we write novels to entertain. Other times we write novels to try to make sense of the world. In the case of the Warrior books, I think I'm once again writing about something I'm afraid of, trying to make sense of it, but failing miserably.