The Latest: 10 years for 3rd recruit to Islamic State group
MINNEAPOLIS – The Latest on sentencings in Minnesota for men convicted of plotting to join the Islamic State group (all times local):
A federal judge has sentenced a Minnesota man who was part of a conspiracy to join the Islamic State group in Syria to 10 years in prison.
Zacaria Abdurahman (ab-dur-ah-mahn) drew the harshest sentence of the three defendants who appeared before U.S. District Judge Michael Davis in Minneapolis on Monday. While Abdurahman pleaded guilty, he did not cooperate with the government against the other members of what Davis called a "terrorist cell."
Asked why he chose not to cooperate, Abdurahman said he wasn't willing to testify against his former friends. He said he's a man of principal.
Prosecutors had sought a 15-year sentence. Davis told the defendant he was giving him less partly because his parents have become active in the campaign against terrorist recruiting in Minnesota's large Somali community.
A Minnesota man who was part of a conspiracy to join the Islamic State group in Syria has been sentenced to 2½ years in prison.
Abdirizak Warsame was the second man in the conspiracy to be sentenced by a federal judge in Minneapolis, and got a tougher sentence than the first — who was released from jail with time served.
Warsame told District Judge Michael Davis that he was manipulated. Davis told Warsame he didn't buy his claims that he was no longer radical, and felt his cooperation with authorities was a matter of convenience.
Warsame had sought 18 months, while prosecutors asked for 4½ years.
Seven other men awaiting sentencing for the conspiracy that prosecutors said began in spring of 2014.
A Minnesota man who admitted plotting to join the Islamic State group in Syria has been sentenced to time served by a judge who said he hopes to see the man rehabilitated.
Abdullahi Mohamed Yusuf is the first of nine men being sentenced in Minneapolis this week in the plot. The 20-year-old pleaded guilty more than a year ago of conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State group, and testified against some of the others.
U.S. District Judge Michael Davis sentenced Yusuf to the 21 months he's already served in jail, plus 20 years of supervised release. Davis said it didn't make sense to send Yusuf to prison because the government would miss a chance to help him.
Yusuf promised the judge he wouldn't let him down.
Prosecutors had asked for 42 months, but U.S. Attorney Andy Luger praised Yusuf for his cooperation and said he accepted the sentence.
A federal judge in Minnesota this week will sentence nine men who were convicted of plotting to join the Islamic State group in Syria.
The men are to be sentenced in groups of three Monday through Wednesday. Prosecutors are seeking just a few years for defendants who cooperated with them and as many as 40 years for those who didn't.
U.S. District Judge Michael Davis sought evaluations on the men to determine how likely they were to pursue terroristic activities in the future.
Minnesota has the nation's largest population of Somali immigrants and has struggled in recent years to stop recruiting of its young men by terror groups aboard. The FBI has said about a dozen people have left Minnesota to join militant groups in Syria in recent years.