Just minutes away form the nation’s capital where the brightest gather to defend America against its enemies through foreign policy, a Virginia boy was working on the opposite side of the fight. Using Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms, one 17-year-old boy ran a pro ISIS page, which as of today, landed him with an 11-year prison sentence. Ali Shukri Amin was the first of many possible convicts caught in the government’s effort to prevent ISIS from reaching young people through social media.
What reportedly put Amin’s crime over the edge was the fact that he not only encouraged young people to join ISIS through his tweets, but also assisted one boy in getting to Syria to join the Islamic State. Ali completely admitted to his involvement in the Syrian travel and to the fact the he is the owner of the pro-ISIS Twitter account with 4,000 followers. In a recent statement, young Ali Shukri Amin reveals that he wants “no pity” and fully takes responsibility for his actions.
“I have not attempted to deny or explain away anything I have done.”
Still, as Amin continued to make his case in court, it appeared that he was leaning more towards a brainwashing defense. In his statement, Ali mentioned that he was against the violent practices of ISIS and completely against jihad as a whole. He also directly mentions “others” on the Internet who influenced him and reportedly convinced him to follow ISIS and advocate for “holy war,” commonly known as jihad. His own beliefs or not, the government has tried him as an adult, mainly due to the action of informing young people how to donate money to ISIS by using Bitcoin; another truth that Amin openly admitted to.
Because Ali Shukri Amin’s testimony confirmed the Twitter was a large stomping ground for ISIS recruiters and supporters alike, the federal government has revealed that it plans to pay more attention and go after other ISIS social media supporters living in the United States. Recently, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, John Carlin made a statement to the Tech Times on the abundance of ISIS associates on Twitter.
“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.”
So far, there has been no publicly released plans on how the government will infiltrate the Twitter community to stop ISIS from reaching American youth. As the FBI reports that ISIS followers have been located in every U.S. state, the government in working hard behind the scenes to stop the movement before it truly spreads.
[Image via Mirror UK]