These young men may end up using their college educations to make license plates in prison.

Miriam Jordan of the Wall Street Journal.

Reach of ISIS Confounds a Minnesota College Campus

MINNEAPOLIS—They finished high school, attended college and worked to help their families. Compared with many young men in the impoverished refugee community here, the six Somali-Americans charged recently with conspiring to join the militant group Islamic State were high achievers.

That is why the allegations involving young men who hadn’t exhibited radical tendencies confounded friends, educators and law enforcement. And the puzzle is particularly hard to answer at Minnesota Community & Technical College, a two-year school on the edge of downtown where five of them had studied.

“They were good boys who went to school, and were involved with the community and their families,” said Omar Mohamud, a 19-year-old who said he grew up with several of them. “I never imagined them putting themselves in this situation.” Mr. Mohamud came to the U.S. from Somalia, a mostly Muslim African nation, when he was 2 and is studying business management at the college.

On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered Adnan Farah, Guled Omar, Hanad Musse and Zacharia Abdurahman detained until their trial, deeming them a flight risk and threat to the community. Two other Minneapolis men charged by federal authorities, Mohamed Farah and Abdurahman Daud, were arrested in San Diego last month, allegedly en route to Syria through Mexico. Each of the six men, who range in age from 19 to 21 years old, could face a 15-year prison term.