ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 28 (UPI) — A former high school honors student was sentenced Friday to more than 11 years in prison after using Twitter to help friends join the Islamic State and travel to Syria.
Ali Shukri Amin, 17, will also have to let the United States government monitor his Internet use for the rest of his life. Amin, a former student at Osbourn Park High School in Manassas, Va., is the youngest person the U.S. has sentenced for helping the IS.
“Today’s sentencing demonstrates that those who use social media as a tool to provide support and resources to (the IS) will be identified and prosecuted with no less vigilance than those who travel to take up arms with (the IS),” said U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia.
Amin pleaded guilty in June for conspiring to provide material support and resources to the terror group. With his now-suspended Twitter account,@Amreekiwitness, which once had 4,000 followers, Amin helped explain to IS supporters how to use the virtual currency Bitcoin to cover their tracks financially. He also helped another teen arrange travel to Syria, as well as solicited donations and support for the IS on social media.
Amin expressed regret for his actions, saying he “became lost and caught up in something that takes the greatest and most profound teachings of Islam and turns them into justifications for violence and death,” he wrote.