July 2, 2018

CAN'T HAVE A CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS WHEN THERE'S ONLY ONE:

A Second Chance for an Ivy League ISIS Recruit (Alan Feuer, June 28, 2018, NY Times)

In the fall of 2014, federal law enforcement and intelligence officials had a problem. A new terrorist group, the Islamic State, had stunned the world by taking over large swaths of Syria and Iraq and was threatening Americans both at home and overseas. And yet, by their own account, terrorism investigators knew little about the group.

But that October, court papers say, the officials caught a break: A young American citizen, a former student at Columbia University, quietly reached out to them from Syria, only hours after fleeing an Islamic State encampment. Disillusioned by his hosts' brutality, the man proposed a deal: If they helped him get home safely, he would tell them everything that he had heard and seen.

Thus began a four-year relationship in which the man, who used the alias "John Doe" in court, worked with federal prosecutors, sharing documents he smuggled out of Syria and recounting what he learned about the terror network's culture and logistics. The prosecutors asked to keep his identity private, citing risks to his safety.

On Thursday, the cooperator's bond with the government came to an end, at least officially, when grateful prosecutors persuaded a judge in Brooklyn to sentence him to supervised release instead of prison time -- even though he had initially faced 25 years behind bars.

Posted by at July 2, 2018 6:58 PM

  

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