(KMSP) - The Minnesota terror suspect captured in Somalia, may not be a slam dunk for extradition. Not only does Somalia not have an extradition treaty with the United States, but lately the Somali Government has been granting amnesty to terror leaders they've been fighting for years.
On social media, the terror suspect was known as Mujahid Miski, where he recruited for ISIS and inspired terror attacks in the United States. But in Minneapolis' Cedar Riverside neighborhood, they still remember him as Mohamed Hassan, the 17-year old Roosevelt High School senior, who left Minnesota seven years ago for Somalia. In November, he surrendered to government forces. He is believed to be running from the very group he went there to join -- Al-Shabaab.
Former Ramsey County sheriff Bob Fletcher now leads the Center for Somali History Studies. He says it's possible the Somali Government could grant him amnesty.
“Somali culture has reconciliation as a key component through out its history. The government has in some case been bringing them in even offering them jobs," Fletcher said.
That's what happened to three key Al-Shabaab leaders who recently surrendered, including one who had a $3 million bounty on his head.
For the State Department, Misiki could mean a diplomatic tap dance.
“The U.S. Mission to Somalia is discussing this with the Somali Government, the US does not have an extradition agreement with Somalia,” John Kirby of the State Department said during a briefing on Tuesday.
The broader question may become what happens now in the social media vacuum.
"He grew up here and understands the community very well," Mohamed Ahmed, the founder of Average Mohamed, an organization which uses cartoons and social media to counter radical extremism, said. "He was a smart kid who chose the wrong path. And look where he ended."
Miski's social media accounts had been taken down more than 30 times. But he was hardly the only one fighting jihad with his keyboard. It is likely others are just waiting to take his place.
"There will be a new Miski, and frankly most of them are women. Men have been replaced by the lure of women,” Fletcher said.
Miski actually did an interview with Voice of America. In that interview, he claims he never had any formal role with ISIS and denied having any contact with the San Bernardino shooters. That could also be his effort to get amnesty. He also said he has no intention of coming back to the United States, although that is a choice he probably will not be able to make if it comes to it.