For years, Twitter has been getting people fucked up in real life for the tweets they post. Though mainly job losses, social media has been proven to be a means of arrest. People get online and boast their illegal activities, as if police aren’t watching. They are. Ali Shukri Amin, 17, of Manassas, VA learned just how focused law enforcement is on social media when he was sentenced to 136 months (over 11 years) in prison, followed by lifelong supervision and monitoring. What did he do? He supported Islamic extremist group ISIS (or ISIL) on Twitter.
Amin never thought he would catch such a bid over tweets. From his @Amreekiwitness Twitter handle, Amin tweeted out supportive advice to ISIS, and became a target of the FBI and other agencies. According to the Department of Justice:
[Amin] provided instruction on how to use Bitcoin, a virtual currency, to mask the provision of funds to ISIL, as well as facilitation to ISIL supporters seeking to travel to Syria to fight with ISIL. Additionally, Amin admitted that he facilitated travel for Reza Niknejad, an 18-year-old Prince William County resident who traveled to Syria to join ISIL in January 2015. Niknejad was charged on June 10, 2015, in the Eastern District of Virginia with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to provide material support to ISIL and conspiring to kill and injure people abroad.
Assistant Attorney General Carlin said the following about the situation:
Ali Shukri Amin is a young American who used social media to provide material support to ISIL. 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. More and more, their propaganda is seeping into our communities and reaching those who are most vulnerable. 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.