The ISIS is using social media to reach out to the American people, the Department of Justice warned. More American youths are radicalized, recruited and incited to support the terrorist group, Dana Boente, Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia said. Her comment comes as a 17-year-old Virginia boy pleaded guilty of rendering material and financial support to ISIS through the internet within the comforts of his home.
The Department of Justice warned that anyone who is found supporting the ISIS through social media will receive the same vigilance given to those who travel to fight with the group.
The warning comes as a Brooklyn man was also charged of conspiracy to support the ISIS. His support included offers to render an act of martyrdom, including killing president Barack Obama.
VA teen pleaded guilty of rendering material and financial support to ISIS
Seventeen-year-old Ali Shukri Amin pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to provide material support and resources to ISIS. He will be sentenced on Aug 28, 2015.
The teen admitted to using his Twitter handle @Amreekiwitness to render moral support to the ISIS and its supporters. According to court documents, he provided instructions on how to use Bitcoin to mask the provision of funds to the terrorist group. He had also organized travel to Syria for people who wanted to fight alongside the ISIS.
Amin had facilitated the travel of another 18-year-old Prince William County resident, Reza Niknejad, who was also charged with the same crime, including conspiracy to kill and injure people abroad.
Amin faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison if convicted.
Atty Boente said Amin’s case should serve as a wake-up call to parents that youths are in danger of being radicalized even at the comforts of own homes.
“This case serves as a wake-up call that ISIL’s propaganda and recruitment materials are in your communities and being viewed by your youth. This challenge requires parental and community awareness and action to confront and deter this threat wherever it surfaces,” Boente said in a statement.
“Ali Amin’s guilty plea is the latest in a series of cases that highlights the impact and danger of online extremist propaganda. From the comfort of his home in Northern Virginia, Amin developed a prolific online presence which directly impacted vulnerable individuals to financially support ISIL and propelled at least one of them to travel overseas to join ISIL in Syria,” said Andrew G. McCabe, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
“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, and prosecute them to the full extent of the law,” Boente added.
Brooklyn man, fifth to be charged in providing support to ISIS
A fifth member of a network of individuals supporting the ISIS was charged Thursday in Eastern District Court in New York. Brooklyn man, Akmal Zakirov, allegedly helped to fund another defendant’s travel to Turkey and then to Syria to launch a violent jihad on behalf of the ISIS.
Investigations on Zakirov and his co-defendant began in 2014. It started when defendant Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev came to the attention of law enforcers after posting on social media an offer to engage in an act of martyrdom on U.S. soil on behalf of the ISIS. Te martyrdom included an offer to kill the president of the United States, court document revealed.
“Zakirov is the fifth to be charged as part of the network of individuals alleged to have conspired and attempted to provide material support to ISIL,” Acting United States Attorney Currie said in a statement.
“Any material support of a terrorist organization not only threatens our national security but violates federal law. In this case, Zakirov is alleged to have been part of a team committed to financing terrorist efforts,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Rodriguez added.
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