A Virginia teen responsible for operating the @Amreekiwitness Twitter account, which posted 7,000 pro-ISIS tweets to more than 4,000 followers, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Ali Shukri Amin, 17, from Woodbridge, VA. stood motionless as the sentence was delivered by U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton, according to the Daily Mail.
Amin, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support and resources to the fanatical organization, read out a statement to the judge that said that he “did not expect sympathy” and was “ready to accept any sentence given to him”.
Using an alternative descriptor to refer to ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia commented on the case: “Today’s sentencing demonstrates that those who use social media as a tool to provide support and resources to ISIL will be identified and prosecuted with no less vigilance than those who travel to take up arms with ISIL.”
“The Department of Justice will continue to pursue those that travel to fight against the United States and our allies, as well as those individuals that recruit others on behalf of ISIL in the homeland,” Boente added.
Offering an insight into how Amin was caught and emphasizing the need for citizens to remain vigilant, Chief Stephan Hudson of the Prince William County, VA. Police Department said: “Observations made by school staff and subsequent follow-up by the School Resource Officer were some of the earlier indicators of suspicious behaviour regarding this individual.”
“Those observations were quickly relayed to our partners with the JTTF [Joint Terrorism Task Force] who acted upon this information very quickly [and] proved to be instrumental in the overall investigation in stopping a dangerous network such as ISIL from further infiltrating our community,” Hudson continued.
Additionally, Amin admitted providing instructions on how to use Bitcoin, a virtual currency, to mask the provision of funds to ISIS, and to having facilitated the transportation of an ISIS supporter to Syria to join the terror network.
Reza Niknejad, an 18-year-old Prince William County, VA. resident, travelled to the battle-hardened country in January this year. He was subsequently arrested and charged on June 10, 2015 with conspiring to kill and injure people abroad.
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