American man, 21, convicted of trying to join ISIS to be released

FOX News

Abdullah Yusuf, 21, who was convicted of trying to join ISIS, was granted supervised release. A man convicted of attempting to join ISIS was granted supervised release from a Minnesota halfway house Thursday -- fewer than three years since he tried boarding a jet to meet up with the Islamic terror group in Syria. Abdullah Yusuf, 21, has been held at the federal halfway house since November 2016. Yusuf was among nine men who were arrested in a sweeping FBI probe of ISIS recruitment in Minnesota in 2014 and 2015. He's one of the few Americans to be allowed back into society after trying to join the terror group, the Star Tribune reported.


A US Judge May Sentence Wannabe Terrorists to 'Deradicalization'

WIRED

Over three days starting Monday, Judge Michael J. Davis of the federal District of Minnesota will sentence nine men convicted of aiding the so-called Islamic State, better known in the West as ISIS. The defendants, all young Somali-Americans from Minneapolis, once yearned to fight in Syria, and they supported one another in their efforts to travel there. Several of the aspiring jihadists were arrested while in the midst of heading to the war zone; Abdullahi Yusuf, for example, was moments away from boarding an Aeroflot flight to Istanbul when he was pulled aside by an FBI surveillance team, which had been monitoring his every move ever since he botched his interview for an expedited passport. Six members of the group eventually pled guilty to conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization; two of those men,Yusuf and Abdirizak Warsame, also agreed to testify against the three defendants who were convicted at trial. Yet no matter their level of contrition or cooperation, the six men who accepted plea bargains now face up to 15 years in prison--a typical punishment for the 58 Americans who've been found guilty of aiding the Islamic State.


Amid scrutiny and suspicion, Minneapolis' Somali community finds a way to thrive

Los Angeles Times

It wasn't hard to see who the outsiders in the courtroom seemed to be. All the jurors were white, the prosecutors white, the FBI agents white. Most of the reporters were white, including me. U.S. District Judge Michael J. Davis struggled as he announced the three Somali American defendants' full names, pronouncing them phonetically from a criminal indictment as if he were a student of a new language. Last week, opening arguments began in downtown Minneapolis in the trial of three local young men charged with plotting to travel to Syria and fight for the Islamic State, and I felt as if I was missing the full picture.


Amid scrutiny and suspicion, Minneapolis' Somali community finds a way to thrive

Los Angeles Times

It wasn't hard to see who the outsiders in the courtroom seemed to be. All the jurors were white, the prosecutors white, the FBI agents white. Most of the reporters were white, including me. U.S. District Judge Michael J. Davis struggled as he announced the three Somali American defendants' full names, pronouncing them phonetically from a criminal indictment as if he were a student of a new language. Last week, opening arguments began in downtown Minneapolis in the trial of three local young men charged with plotting to travel to Syria and fight for the Islamic State, and I felt as if I was missing the full picture.


Boko Haram: Behind the Rise of Nigeria's Armed Group

Al Jazeera

Since 2010, people in northeastern Nigeria have lived in constant fear of being attacked. In the past years, Nigeria's rebel group Boko Haram has repeatedly attacked schools, churches, mosques and markets, but state institutions such as police stations and military facilities have remained primary targets. The group provoked global outrage in April 2014 when they kidnapped 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, northeastern Nigeria. The kidnapping received global condemnation and sparked the solidarity campaign #BringBackOurGirls. In August 2016, Boko Haram split into two factions after long-time leader Abubakar Shekau rejected an attempt by ISIL's Abu Musab al-Barnawi to replace him.