A 17-year-old boy from Virginia has been sentenced to 11 years in prison after it was found that he was behind a powerful pro-ISIS Twitter account and that he had helped a friend travel to Syria in order to join the terrorist organization.
Prosecutors suggest that the sentencing against Ali Shukri Amin is a demonstration of the stance that the government is trying to take in aggressively confronting ISIS' efforts to spread its reach through the use of social media.
Earlier in the summer, Amin confessed to being behind the Twitter account, which had 4,000 followers at its peak right before it was shut down. The account often posted pro-ISIS tweets and links to tutorials on how to send money to ISIS through bitcoin.
"ISIL 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," said John Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security, in a statement. "More and more, their propaganda is seeping into our communities and reaching those who are most vulnerable."
This is likely to be the first of a number of cases as the U.S. takes a more aggressive stance against those suspected of being supporters of ISIS, especially in the age of easy communication. Officials from the Department of Justice have said that they need to be more forceful in ensuring that the possibility of people becoming radicalized through the Internet is minimized as much as possible.
According to the FBI, leads are being followed connected to ISIS in every state of the U.S., with dozens of people being arrested over the past few months for supporting the organization.
Some, however, suggest that the government is too harsh against people who are expressing hateful beliefs on the Internet but would not have the capacity to carry out any violence.
Via: The Hill