A Twin Cities man sentenced last year for trying to join ISIS has been ordered to remain in custody until a hearing next week, when a federal judge is expected to decide whether he violated the terms of his probation by watching a CNN documentary at his halfway house.
At a hearing Tuesday in Minneapolis, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis played the first 15 minutes of the hourlong documentary about a Belgian ISIS soldier before finding probable cause to keep Abdullahi Yusuf, 21, in custody.
Yusuf will be held at the Sherburne County jail until next week's hearing, where Davis will decide whether to revoke his supervised release.
Yusuf was one of nine young Twin Cities men sentenced last year after a long FBI investigation into ISIS recruiting in Minnesota's Somali community. Last November, Davis sentenced Yusuf to time served and up to a year at a metro halfway house for his conviction.
Last week, Chief U.S. Probation Officer Kevin Lowry had informed Davis about an April 18 incident in which Yusuf failed a polygraph test when asked if he viewed materials that "reflect extremist or terroristic views," and later said he watched a show about terrorism on CNN. Davis ordered Yusuf's arrest early Friday.
During a brief, occasionally tense cross-examination by attorney Manny Atwal, Lowry testified that he did not know how much of the film Yusuf watched at the halfway house.
According to testimony, Yusuf has been meeting with a mentor appointed by probation staff, who has accompanied him on library and mosque visits.
Yusuf has also met with a therapist and is participating in online classes on a closely monitored computer. Davis, meanwhile, issued an order prohibiting a former attorney, Jean Brandl, and staff from the Minneapolis nonprofit Heartland Democracy from visiting or contacting Yusuf.