Teen Gets 11 Years For Giving Bitcoin Advice to ISIS on Twitter

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“The War on Terror” continues as a Virginia teenager was recently sentenced to eleven years in U.S. federal prison for his pro-ISIS views and Bitcoin advice on Twitter.

17-year-old Ali Shukri Amin allegedly maintained the Twitter account @Amreekiwitness “to espouse pro-ISIS views and propaganda.” The account, which was able to gain over 4,000 Twitter followers, was also a place where advice on how to use Bitcoin to fund ISIS was disseminated.

“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,” John Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security said in a statement. “More and more, their propaganda is seeping into our communities and reaching those who are most vulnerable.”

Amin also stated during the trial that he assisted a domestic ISIS supporter in getting to Syria. That person was also arrested under the charge of conspiring to provide material support to terrorism.

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“Amin’s case serves as a reminder of how persistent and pervasive online radicalization has become,” Andrew G. McCabe, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office said in a statement. “The FBI, through our Joint Terrorism Task Forces, remains dedicated to protecting the United States against the ongoing violent threat posed by ISIL and their supporters.”

This is one of dozens of arrests by the FBI and Department of Justice current operation that follows all leads throughout the United States that relate to ISIS support online. Officials say individuals “grow radicalized” through social media and Internet chat groups, which then generates domestic violence and “lone wolf” terrorist attacks.

Amin, who also goes by Taqi’ulDeen Al Munthir, was interviewed by Deepdotweb last year at the onset of this investigation and had some very interesting things to say about Bitcoin and its use. He said Bitcoin, as of last year, not an accepted monetary unit within ISIS. What he wanted was for a new digital currency or altcoin, called the eDinar to be used by the Islamic State. Here’s what they said:

“The idea isn’t to turn BTC (Bitcoins) donations into U.S. Dollars or another fiat currency. That’s less than ideal. In that regard, it would be near impossible for (ISIS) to traffic large amounts of donated funds. They would need to send agents to nearby countries to exchange the Bitcoins, leading to higher restrictions in the Middle East on Bitcoin, and the end of it’s usefulness to (ISIS).”

“The far more desirable alternative is top create their own cryptocurrency, an eDinar of sorts, and exchange Bitcoin for that. That way, Bitcoin can be converted to the caliphate instantly, without the need for a third party.“

The Department of Justice seems ready to use this trail as an example to dissuade others from engaging in a similar online activity. Apparently, age is not a mitigating factor. Locking up teenagers for over a decade in a federal prison may sound harsh, but it is not excessive sentences once federal prosecutors get involved is not uncommon.

Take the case of Ross Ulbricht, creator of Silk Road. I wrote an article about his sentencing in June, where he not only received life sentences, as a first-time offender, for 2 out of 5 charges of non-violent crimes, but also a $183+ million fine.

U.S. Incarceration Rates

The United States is also by far the most heavily incarcerated population in the world, with well over two million citizens in the nation’s prison system currently, and rising. 40% of those incarcerated, who are under the age of 18, are sent to privately-owned, for-profit “correction facilities” nationwide. These might be small signs of a tyrannical police state well underway.

If nothing else, this may indeed be the longest jail sentence handed out for sending tweets in recorded history. Only in America.