On May 2, 2015, our very own Joe Tamburino made a guest appearance on the radio show, Saturday Night with Esme Murphy. The topic of the show examined the large population of foreign-born and immigrants living in the state. Immigration is one of the hallmarks Minnesota history, beginning in the early part of the 20th century with European populations, and then later in the 1990’s and the current generation with “chains” of migration occurring among the Hmong, Liberian, and Somali community.
Specifically, Attorney Tamburino gave commentary on the problem occurring within the Somali community. There is evidence that some sects of the population, especially the children of immigrants, have forged links to the terrorist groups in Somali, as well as ISIS. Recently, arrests of a handful second-generation Somalis have “stigmatized” the community as a whole.
The disparity felt between generations in the Somali community is not unlike that of other communities. The problem is that Somalia, without a doubt, is a country that is extraordinarily torn. There is a good reason why families have immigrated; they seek to forge better lives for themselves and their family. So it is surprising to see many of the second-generation born trying to reach back into these ties—and not in a positive way.
Were the Somali men recruited?
One of the most prominent criminal cases involving the Somali community was the arrest of six men who were allegedly charged with trying to join ISIS. Attorney Joe reasons that in order to convict these men, the prosecutors could face an uphill climb, as the circumstances of the case may not be strong enough.
First it must be proven that the men were not “predisposed to commit the crime” or willingly submitted to recruitment by ISIS forces. Secondly, the accused men claimed that a paid informant entrapped the men. The informant, a friend of the men, recorded audio of the men stating that they wished to go to the Middle East and fight in terrorist organizations. The problem is that, according to Attorney Tamburino, both of these scenarios can be incredibly difficult to prove in court.
Actions, Not Speech, Should Be Criminalized
Recordings alone, accurate or not, the evidence in the cases has simply not been compelling enough to pinpoint guilt on the accused men. That is why Attorney Tamburino believes that a plea bargain agreement is quite possible in this case. One of the reasons why is that there is something to gain for both sides. The men can receive some relief from the possibility of harsh sentencing, and law enforcement can gain access to any communications or connections to terrorist groups in Somalia, Syria, or ISIS.
For more information about this case, please feel free to contact Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A.
You can also listen to Attorney Tamburino’s discussion on Saturday Night with Esme Murphy here.