The first three of nine convicted Minnesota terrorists who were charged with conspiring to join the Islamic State in Syria were sentenced in court on Monday.
Two of the three men were given light sentences for cooperating with authorities while the third was given a 10-year sentence for not cooperating. All three men pleaded guilty to the charges.
U.S. District Judge Michael Davis sentenced Abdullahi Mohamed Yusuf, 20, to time served, a year in a halfway house, and 20 years of supervised release because he said “it didn’t make sense to send Yusuf to prison, where no deradicalization programs are available,” according to CBS Minnesota.
Abdirizak Warsame, 21, was sentenced of 2½ years in prison, a year in a halfway house, and 20 years of supervised release. The judge isn’t convinced that Warsame has changed, but thinks he only cooperated to get off with a lighter charge.
“The problem I have with you is everything has seemed so smooth,” Judge Davis said. “… Extremist ideology based on religion doesn’t disappear overnight, and you can’t convince me otherwise. And that’s what you’re trying to do.”
Zacharia Abdurahman, 21, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, a year in a halfway house, and 20 years of supervised release.
When Davis asked Abdurahman why he didn’t cooperate with authorities he said “As a man, I made a decision not to do that to my former friends. Your honor, I’m a man of principle. … Our religion teaches you not to harm another brother.”
Three more men who have pleaded guilty but did not cooperate with authorities are due for sentencing on Tuesday. The last three are due for sentencing on Wednesday. These men face charges of conspiring to commit murder outside the U.S and If convicted they face a possible life sentence. The prosecutors are seeking sentences for them of 30 or 40 years, Twin Cities reported.
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