These guys are not terrorists.
They know a terrorist when they see one in Minnesota. Last April, federal authorities arrested six Minneapolis men of Somali descent, aged 19 to 21, for the alleged crime of wanting to join ISIS. They now face up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
But these guys? Not terrorists. Abundant evidence indicates they were engaged in a conspiracy to disrupt a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest. One of them shot five protesters, including a man who nearly died.
What are the charges? The shooter has been charged with one count of second-degree riot while armed and five counts of second-degree assault, and may be subject to a long prison term if found guilty. The other three defendants were charged with second-degree riot.
No charge of attempted murder. No conspiracy charges. No terrorism charges. No hate crime charges.
Here is a brief synopsis of Minneapolis terrorism statutes from a legal website (emphasis added):
Terrorism is not treated lightly in the Minnesota criminal justice system. It has a broad definition in Minnesota, including both personal and public threats and acts. Personal threats of substantial bodily harm to another can be classified as terroristic threats in certain contexts. Threats with the intent of causing public disorder are certainly terroristic, and carry a heavier penalty than most personal threats…
…Minnesota criminal law increases the penalty for any felony by 50% if the premeditated intent was to further terrorism (Minn. Stat. 609.714). The intent to further terrorism is the intent to:
1. terrorize, intimidate, or coerce a considerable number of members of the public in addition to the direct victims of the act; and
2. significantly disrupt or interfere with the lawful exercise, operation, or conduct of government, lawful commerce, or the right of lawful assembly.
There is a chance the U.S. Department of Justice will step in and bring more serious charges.