A federal court in Minnesota has created a program to assess the risks posed by terrorism defendants and come up with plans to deradicalize them so they don’t engage in similar activities again.
U.S. District Judge Michael Davis, who has handled recent terrorism cases in Minnesota, outlined the program Wednesday and called it the first of its kind in the country. It initially will be applied to four men who have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State group, and Davis said it could be expanded to supervise other terror defendants, including those being released from prison and re-entering society.
“We are being proactive in trying to protect and serve the community,” Davis said.
Gee, who could possibly be causing this?
Minnesota has the largest Somali population in the U.S. and it has been a target for terrorism recruiters. About a dozen Minnesota residents have traveled to Syria to join militant groups in recent years. In addition, more than 22 young men from Minnesota’s Somali community have left the state since 2007 to join al-Shabab in Somalia.
Ten men have been charged in the recent Islamic State group cases. One is believed to be in Syria, while five await trial. Four others — Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame, Hanad Mustofe Musse, Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman and Abdullahi Mohamed Yusuf — have pleaded guilty. Prosecutors have described the men as friends who recruited and inspired each other to join the Islamic State group.
But remember — they’re “Minnesotans.”