Tweeting for Terror|Sends Teen to Prison

     ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CN) – The Virginia teenager who pleaded guilty last year to helping Islamic State militants received a sentence Friday to 11 years in federal prison.
     Ali Shukri Amin, 17, of Manassas, Va., posted on Twitter about how to use the virtual currency Bitcoin to send funds to militants.
     He also helped another Virginia teen, 18-year-old, Reza Niknejad travel to Syria in January to join the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
     After pleading guilty in June, U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton was sentenced today to 136 months in prison.
     That term will followed by a lifetime of supervised release and monitoring of his Internet activities.
     Amin’s plea came one day after Niknejad, of Prince William County, was charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to provide material support to ISIL and conspiring to kill and injure people abroad.
     Chief Stephan Hudson of the Prince William County Police Department noted that observations by school staff “were some of the earlier indicators of [Amin’s] suspicious behavior.”
     Court records note that Amin’s Twitter handle was @Amreekiwitness.
     Assistant Attorney General John Carlin emphasized ISIL’s use of “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.”
     U.S. Attorney Dana Boente added that the government prosecutes “those who use social media as a tool to provide support and resources to ISIL … with no less vigilance than those who travel to take up arms with ISIL.”
     “Today 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,” the FBI’s Andrew McCabe said in a statement. “Amin’s case serves as a reminder of how persistent and pervasive online radicalization has become.”

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