Ali Shukri Amin was an honor student from Virginia, but now the 17-year-old is headed to federal prison for more than a decade after helping recruit a fellow teen to fight alongside ISIS.
Amin pleaded guilty and was sentenced Friday to a term of 11 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervision after his release, USA Today reported. The teen had already admitted to helping radicalize his friend, 18-year-old Reza Niknejad, and helping the teen travel overseas to join ISIS in Syria.
Niknejad, who is originally from Iran but now a naturalized American citizen, also faces a number of charges including conspiring to kill and injure people abroad and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, RT reported.
Ali Shukri Amin was also active on social media, using his Twitter account to help other people filter donations to ISIS. This was an important part of the case, with U.S. Attorney Dana Boente saying that authorities would take very seriously attempts to help the terror group using social media.
“Ali Shukri Amin is a young American who used social media to provide material support to ISIL,” assistant Attorney General John Carlin said. “More and more, their propaganda is seeping into our communities and reaching those who are most vulnerable.”
Authorities said Amin is also part of a movement to use online tools to aid terrorists and reach new recruits.
“Amin’s case serves as a reminder of how persistent and pervasive online radicalization has become,” said assistant director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Andrew McCabe. He added that this week’s sentencing “marks a personal tragedy for the Amin family and the community as we have lost yet another young person to the allure of extremist ideology focused on hatred.”
At this week’s sentencing, Ali Shukri Amin apologized and took responsibility for his actions.
“I am deeply ashamed for becoming so lost and adrift from what I know in my heart is right,” Amin wrote to the judge, the Washington Postreported.
Others spoke on Amin’s behalf, including lawyer Jason Flood who said he came from an honest and hard-working family.
“In every regard, the activity that resulted in his conviction was an anomaly and at odds with the hard-working values he learned in his family,” Flood said. “Mr. Amin’s greatest hope is that others might learn from his errors and find pro-social, nonviolent ways of working for change.”
Ali Shukri Amin is one of close to 50 people charged in the United States with helping ISIS.
[Picture by Talk Radio News/Amin family]