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A federal judge is taking a big chance with an 18-year old Somali American, accused of trying to join ISIS in Syria. Instead of waiting in jail for trial as a terrorist conspirator, he may be sent to a halfway house to be counseled about re-connecting with American society. Prisons are regarded as think-tanks for radicals where young, disaffected inmates like him are often recruited for violent action, including jihad. Is he already a danger here in this country… or is his youthful extremism subject to change?

Plus, Obama unveils the latest budget, and the new frontier for big data.

Banner Image: Imam preaching at Umayyad Mosque in Damascus; Credit: Paul Stocker

Obama Unveils Trillion Dollar Budget 6 MIN, 29 SEC

President Obama today unveiled a $4 trillion budget that lifts caps on defense spending and expands services for the middle class. It’s designed to challenge the Republican majorities in Congress. Richard Rubin covers taxes and budgets for Bloomberg News.

Richard Rubin, Wall Street Journal (@RichardRubinDC)

Can Intervention Prevent Homegrown Terror? 33 MIN, 58 SEC

Today or tomorrow, an 18-year-old Somali-American is expected to be transferred from jail to a halfway house in Minnesota—to await trial on federal charges of terrorism. The goal is to keep him out of prison—where hardened prisoners might radicalize him further. We look at the risks of a new approach toward homegrown extremists.

A Minneapolis neighborhood is known as “Little Mo,” short for Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. It’s home to the nation’s largest population of Somali-Americans, some 30,000 people. Abdullahi Yusef, is 18, had a job at Best Buy and planned to attend community college. Then, he was arrested by the FBI—on the way to the airport for a flight to Turkey.

Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio (@laura_yuen)
Frank Cilluffo, George Washington University (@gwcchs)
Tariq Aquil, Imam (@Anstar2010)
Jessica Stern, terrorism policy consultant (@JessicaEStern)

The New Frontier for Big Data - An Algorithm of Feelings 9 MIN, 27 SEC

"Micro-expressions” are those flashes of honest feeling that appear on your face before you can control them. Now software companies are compiling databases with thousands of “micro-expressions” for use in commercial marketing—and potentially for intelligence work. Do they constitute invasions of privacy?

Americans know their cell phone calls are recorded and catalogued while their online searches are being tracked, bought and sold. Now there’s an algorithm for recognizing facial expressions. Elizabeth Dwoskin covers innovation and privacy in the world of big data. She’s written abour “micro-expressions” for the Wall Street Journal.

Elizabeth Dwoskin, Washington Post (@lizzadwoskin)

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