When a teen from Minnesota’s huge Somali population pleaded guilty last year to planning to travel to Syria to join ISIS, a federal judge decided to give him one more chance.
It didn’t end well for Abdullahi Yusuf, who was initially spared hard time and instead ordered to temper his radicalism by studying Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X, yet was caught with a contraband weapon and ordered back to prison. But U.S. District Judge Michael Davis, who offered Yusuf the break, is determined to prove radicalized Americans can be convinced to change.
“We’re setting up the first program in the country,” Davis said last week after announcing a program to “de-radicalize” terrorists. “And it’s baby steps.”