17-year-old Ali Shukri Amin from Virginia will spend the next 11 years and 4 months in a federal penitentiary for his role in running the powerful pro-ISIS Twitter account, @Amreekiwitness. This account collected and disseminated ISIS propaganda to more than 4,000 followers and shared instructions for using Bitcoin to secretly fund the terrorist organization. Amin also admitted to helping one of the account's followers to travel to Syria and join the group. That follower has since been arrested and is facing federal prosecution as well on a conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism charge.
This conviction is part of the DoJ's aggressive push to help control the spread of ISIS influence here in the US, especially through social media. The group "continues to use social media to send their violent and hateful message around the world in an attempt to radicalize, recruit and incite youth and others to support their cause," John Carlin, Justice Department assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement. "The Department of Justice will continue to use all tools to disrupt the threats that ISIL poses, and our efforts will be furthered by parents and other members of our community willing to take action to confront and deter this threat wherever it may surface." To that end, federal authorities state that they've arrested more than a dozen individuals over the last few months on charges that they supported terrorist activity.
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