Abdullahi Yusuf, a Somali-American who pleaded guilty to conspiring to support terrorists in the Middle East, has been taken into custody for allegedly violating conditions while living in a St. Paul halfway house, according to court documents filed Monday.
Yusef, a student at Inver Grove Community College, drew national attention after a federal judge decided to place him in a halfway house and provide counseling for him rather than hold him in custody while awaiting sentencing.
Yusuf's alleged violations were not detailed in court records.
After Yusuf pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy charges, Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis agreed to a proposal by his attorneys to enroll the 18-year-old man in Heartland Democracy's program designed to reshape the attitudes of troubled youth, with special emphasis on Somali-American teens who feel disenfranchised. The move was hailed by counterterrorism experts as a novel idea and was viewed as a test case on whether such persons could be rehabilitated.
In May 2014, Yusuf was stopped from boarding a flight by FBI agents at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. He'd bought a ticket for Istanbul, Turkey, records showed. Agents had been tipped to Yusuf because of his suspicious behavior when he applied weeks earlier for a passport.
A day later, Yusuf's colleague, Abdi Nur, successfully flew from the airport and made his way to Syria where he is fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).