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Can Minnesota Assimilate Somali Teen Jihadist?
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March 01, 2015, 03:30 PM
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On Sunday’s Fox morning show, Tucker Carlson questioned the idea of rehabilitating a Minnesota-residing Somali teen who had been nabbed at the airport headed for ISIS-stan. Apparently the local diversity dreamers think Abdullahi Mohamud Yusuf can be retrained from wanna-be headchopper to basketball coach for young people. What could possibly go wrong?

Retired FBI Agent Tim Clemente joined in the conversation.

CLEMENTE: This an 18-year-old kid that needs to be deprogrammed. It’s not just leading him on the right path to becoming a basketball coach but literally, he’s part of an Islamist death cult and he needs to be deprogrammed from the alternative reality they’ve put into his brain.

CARLSON: But also, basketball coach and team mentor? Does no one have a real job anymore? How about becoming a HBC repairman or like something real? Why should taxpayers pay for a guy, why should somebody be rewarded for trying to join ISIS? It is perverse. . .

Maybe we should rethink our immigration policies.

We all want to believe in redemption, but an 18-year-old Somali male raised to be Muslim has been deeply imprinted by prayers to Allah five times a day. Repetition is key to training — ask anyone who advertises cokes for a living.

Plus, a cool gig in hoops won’t stand up to Islam promises of 72 virgins for murdering infidels.

And what American parent would want his son coached in basketball by a young chopper?

Like dozens of Minnesota Somalis, Yusuf planned on a career of Islamic enforcement for Allah.

A couple years back I wrote about the expensive assimilation difficulties in Minnesota: Somali Immigrants in Minnesota: Import a Problem, Then Pay to Try to Fix It. And even with the total failure of Somali immigrant assimilation, Washington continues it by admitting 800 Somali refugees per month according to RefugeeResettlementWatch.

In fact, from a taxpayer viewpoint it would make more sense to let the jihadists leave and then disallow their re-entry. No dollar amount is given for Yusuf’s rehabilitation project and it’s doubtful we will even learn it. But letting him leave to serve Allah costs zero. Win, win.

Here’s more about the Yusuf case, including the basketball scheme:

Eighteen Year Old from Minnesota Pleads Guilty to Supporting ISIS, Breitbart.com, Feb 27, 2015

FBI agents intercepted 18-year-old Abdullahi Mohamud Yusuf of Minnesota at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport last May while en route to Syria to join ISIS. He had obtained a passport under false pretenses, claiming that he wanted to visit Istanbul on vacation. He was later formally arrested and charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and entered a guilty plea on Thursday. He could spend up to 15 years in prison.

Minnesota has been a trouble spot for terrorist recruiting, most actively involving members of the Somali community joining al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia. Young Mr. Yusuf’s tastes ran more to the Islamic State, which recruited him out of high school.

That recruitment process is of obvious interest to counter-terrorism agencies, as the Associated Press relates Yusuf’s court testimony that he “attended meetings in Minnesota last March and April in which participants discussed fighting,” received financial assistance to purchase his plane ticket from someone who has not been identified to the public yet, and had plans to join another young Minnesota recruit in Istanbul, 20-year-old Abdi Nur. (Nur faces charges if he ever returns to the U.S., but he made it to the Islamic State and is currently believed to be fighting for them in Syria.)

Yusuf’s lawyers attempted to argue the rather odd technicality that the Islamic State was only formally classified as a terrorist organization 12 days before he tried to join them; it would not be much of a technicality unless the designation was made after he was stopped at the airport.

He might not serve much prison time at any rate, as he is not in jail now; he has been “allowed to stay at a halfway house while his case has been pending, and is allowed to work with a group that promotes civic involvement as a way to keep youth engaged, with hopes of keeping him on a positive track and reintegrating him into society,” according to the AP. No matter what sentence he receives, he will continue “working with coaches, and hopes to eventually continue his college studies.”

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) described this halfway house program as “a very big bet on Yusuf” in a February 12 profile, but ventured that he might be “an ideal test case” for the program to pull radicalized Americans “back from the call of terror” and return them to their communities.

A great deal of Yusuf’s supposedly perfect fit for this plan hinges on the perception that he is “closer to being a naive young person than someone who is already engaged in something that might be a threat to our community or people halfway around the world,” as Mary McKinley of the Heartland Democracy group put it. The goal is to rehabilitate him to the point where he can “coach basketball, mentor other teens,” and “join a peer group of young Somali-Americans who can talk about the challenges of straddling two cultures,” the MPR report explains. Interest in such programs reportedly exists in European countries dealing with their own ISIS recruiting problems, including the looming threat of trained paramilitary fighters returning home after serving in the Islamic State’s armed forces.

There’s some talk of the “community organizer” approach to counter-terrorism in the article, including quotes from an actual community organizer named Mohamud Noor, who said of Yusuf’s possible jail sentence, “When he comes out, will he be rehabilitated or will he be the same person? He can go to jail. That is what the court system will determine. But are there any processes that we can help this young man to be rehabilitated?” A plan to combat the radicalization of young people in the United States with social programs, mentoring, and job counseling is discussed.

No one quoted in the MPR piece mentions it, but another potential pitfall with putting a young would-be jihadi into jail for a relatively brief prison sentence is that prison gangs are another major source of Islamist radicalization. Balanced against these considerations is the danger to the public posed by anyone who would sign up with the monstrous evil of the Islamic State – an evil they prominently advertise in their recruiting program. When a young man buys that plane ticket to Turkey and plans his dash into Syria, he knows he is joining a sadistic, homicidal, genocidal militant gang.

Evidently, the official posture of state and federal agencies remains that bored, alienated young people without good job prospects are joining ISIS because they essentially have nothing better to do. Before sentences are passed down and halfway house rehabilitation programs are advanced as the answer, the judge should be certain he’s not dealing with someone who was really looking forward to murdering infidels.