No more prison time for one of MN's ISIL suspects – 30 months, 10 years for others

Three of the 11 Minnesota men charged with ISIL-related crimes were sentenced Monday.
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One of the young Minnesota men charged with trying to join the Islamic State militant group won't serve any more prison time, after he cooperated with the U.S. government and participating in rehabilitation efforts.

Abdullahi Yusuf, 20 years old, was sentenced Monday to time served (plus 20 years on probation) after pleading guilty in February of 2016 to planning to offer "material support" to ISIL.

In Yusuf's guilty plea, he admitted getting a passport for the purpose of flying to Turkey in an attempt to join the Islamic State, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. But he was stopped at the airport by federal agents.

In addition to pleading guilty, Yusuf testified against three of the other Minnesota men charged with similar crimes.

And he was among the first of the defendants ordered to take part in a "de-radicalization" program – a way for authorities to try to identify why they pursued a path with the Islamic State, address the cause, and eventually integrate the men back into society as regular citizens. The Associated Press and WIRED have recently written in-depth about the de-radicalization programs..

U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger said Monday the judge's sentence for Yusuf "allows him to continue his rehabilitation."

"The hard work of rehabilitating those who seek to engage in ideological violence must continue," Luger said.

Two more were also sentenced

Two more young men charged with conspiring "to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization" (as it's referred to) were also sentenced Monday.

Abdirizak Warsame, 21 years old, was given 30 months in federal prison, plus 20 years probation. Like Yusuf, he cooperated with the government in its case against three others by testifying.

And the third, 21-year-old Zacharia Abdurahman, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and another 20 on probation. He did not help the U.S. government in the case.

Both MPR and the Star Tribune have details from the courtroom, including what the judge thought of each defendant's case, as well as quotes from the three men.

The others who were charged

Yusuf, Warsame and Abdurahman were among the 10 Minnesota men charged in 2015 with trying to help or join the Islamic State militant group. An 11th was charged in August of 2016.

A total of six suspects (including the three sentenced Monday) pleaded guilty. An additional three went to trial and were convicted.

The remaining two, it's believed, fled to Syria before being charged.

More of the suspects are expected to be sentenced this week, KSTP reports.

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