Appointed Congressman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Once asked a judge to show kindness to a group of Minnesota men accused of trying to join the Islamic state's terrorist group.
"The best deterrent to fanaticism is a system of compassion," she wrote at that time. "We need to change our attitude and approach. If we really want to influence change, we should focus our efforts on integration and rehabilitation."
The nine Minnesota men were in prison for decades after being charged in 2015 to make plans, including buying fake passports, in an attempt to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS, which was at its highest level of activity and held territory of Syria and Iraq.
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"The best deterrent to fanaticism is a system of compassion. We need to change our attitude and approach if we really want to influence change, we should focus our efforts on integration and rehabilitation."
"Involvement of 20-year-old men for 30 or 40 years is essentially a way of life. Society will not have expectations for the 50 or 60-year-old released prisoners; it will see them with mistrust and disgust," read Omar & # 39 ; s letter to the judge, as obtained by FOX 9 in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
"Such penalties not only lack efficiency, they inevitably create an environment where extremism can flourish and adapt to the precondition for terrorist recruitment," she added.
Omar's letter of more light phrases resurrected on social media opposed to criticism of her attacks on beds Lindsey Graham, Covington Catholic high school students and endorsement of socialist Venezuelan dictatorship.
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One of the men, especially Abdirahman Yasin Daud, was in prison for over 30 years trying to join the terrorist group. He admitted in court that he did not attempt to enter Syria for humanitarian reasons, but rather to participate in ISIS activities.
"I did not go there to pass medical kits or food. I strictly went to fight and kill on behalf of the Islamic state."
"I did not go there to pass medical kits or food. I went strictly to fight and kill on behalf of the Islamic state, "he said.
But Omar told the judge that the best way against extremism was with empathy rather than punishment.
"A long-term prison sentence for one who chose violence to fight direct marginalization is a statement that our legal system misunderstands the guilty. A restorative approach to justice assesses the lure and address of the crime."
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According to media reports, almost all the men who were in trial received long cases, with Daud earning 30 years in prison after being found guilty of attempting to provide material support ISIS and conspiracy to commit murder abroad.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.