Reaction from San Diego's Somali community - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Reaction from San Diego's Somali community

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - San Diego is home to one of the largest Somali communities in the United States. And now, locals are reacting to the news that two suspects were arrested in San Diego accused of trying to travel to Syria to fight alongside Islamic State militants.

The majority of the local Somalis live in City Heights and many didn't want to talk about the arrests, saying they don't want to be associated with terrorist activity. Others told CBS News 8 that they know very little about the case.

Hassan Sheighei learned about Sunday's arrests when he arrived to work Monday morning. He's the office manager at Somali Bantu Association of America, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Somali refugees.

"With the people in Somalia, why they come here is there's war going on. There's no peace. That's why they come to America to have peace,” said Sheighei.

San Diego is home to an estimated 30,000 Somalians. Sheighei said he doesn't know much about ISIS and hasn't heard anyone from the local community talk about them. He wonders why anyone would want to join their militia.

"I don't know why they went there, I don't why would they go. I could not tell,” he continued.

According to the complaint, two out of the six suspects were arrested in San Diego, after trying to obtain fake passports San Diego so they could travel to Syria via Mexico.

They were allegedly recruited through online methods such as Facebook.

In a recorded conversation, one of the men reportedly said, "The American identity is dead. Even if I get caught, I'm whatever. I'm through with America. Burn my ID."

Kusanje Abiyow, a refugee who has been in San Diego since 2004, said most Somalians don't feel that. He pointed out pictures showing local refugees working together with San Diego police and military personnel. He came to the United States to have a better life and says he's forever grateful.

Those who aren't, don't represent the majority.

The FBI will not say exactly where the two men were arrested. The individuals that CBS News 8 spoke with say they haven't heard of any issues regarding refugees from Somali getting recruited to fight for ISIS.

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