A Virginia teenager, Ali Shukri Amin, admitted these days that he made use of Twitter to radicalize other folks to join ISIS in Syria, which includes a fellow Virginian who left for Syria only months ago, according to a plea agreement.
Amin, 17, a former honor student at Osbourn Park High School in of Manassas, Virginia, pleaded guilty in federal court to a single count of giving material assistance and sources to ISIS.
More than the past two years, more than 60 Americans have been charged with trying to join ISIS or are suspected of trying to support the group in some other way. In several of the cases, adults are accused of radicalizing younger Americans — but the opposite occurred in Amin’s case, as outlined in a plea agreement.
Considering the fact that June 2014, Amin amassed 4,000 followers to his Twitter account, posting nearly 7,000 messages in that time, according to the plea agreement.
Working with the Twitter deal with @Amreekiwitness, Amin told other individuals how to present financial help to ISIS and hide money sent to the group, alleges the agreement, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
“From the comfort of his house in Northern Virginia, Amin created a prolific online presence which directly impacted vulnerable people to financially support [ISIS] and propelled at least a single of them to travel overseas to join [ISIS] in Syria,” stated Andrew McCabe, the head of the FBI’s Washington field office.
Amin’s lawyer, Joseph Flood, told reporters outside a federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia currently that Amin is “a excellent kid … a pacifist” who got caught up in his want to topple the Syrian regime that opposes ISIS, but he understands what he did was a crime and takes full duty.
“All of the other persons who have pled guilty or who have been convicted of this crime and delivering material help to ISIS have been all adults,” Flood stated. “It’s a really rare occasion for a kid to be caught up in this. And he is a kid. He takes adult responsibility for what he did, but we cannot lose sight of the truth that he is a child.”
Flood later added in a written statement that the actions Amin has taken responsibility for “consisted mostly of blogging on the World-wide-web to proselytize his Muslim faith and express his views about the ongoing insurrection in Syria.”
Nonetheless, according to the plea agreement, Amin admitted that in September he launched an effort to radicalize 18-year-old Reza Niknejad, a fellow Virginia native. In the end, Amin place Niknejad in touch with an ISIS supporter overseas who could support Niknejad join ISIS, Amin bought airplane tickets for Niknejad’s trip, and he drove Niknejad to Dulles International Airport in January, the plea agreement alleges.
Niknejad is believed to still be in Syria, and he has been charged with quite a few terrorism-connected offenses.
Amin, meanwhile, faces as a lot of as 15 years in prison. He will be sentenced on Aug. 28.
“This case serves as a wake-up get in touch with that [ISIS] propaganda and recruitment supplies are in your communities and getting viewed by your youth,” mentioned John Carlin, the head of the Justice Department’s National Safety Division.
ABC News’ Tom Giusto and Jack Cloherty contributed to this report.