In 2008, a New York woman feared her brother, a troubled young Muslim man living in New York, might be getting involved in a violent radical group in Pakistan. So she called a cleric in Houston for advice. The cleric in turn called Mohamed Elibiary, head of the Plano-based nonprofit Freedom and Justice Foundation.
Elibiary, who has quietly emerged as the country's leading Muslim deradicalization expert, devised an intervention that played on the young man's familial duties and got him to return to the United States where counselors and mentors steered him away from militant extremism.
That case is detailed in a new report from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank that has compiled stories of other would-be terrorists who abandoned their violent plans.
And it's a reminder that in the aftermath of last year's Fort Hood shootings and the recent terrorism-related arrests of young Muslim Americans, we need people like Elibiary working with government and law enforcement.