Ali Shukri Amin, 17, was sentenced Friday to 11 years in prison for “conspiring to provide material support and resources” to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS) terror group, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced.
An honor student at Osbourn Park High School in Manassas, Virginia, Amin was found to be behind a pro-ISIS Twitter account and attempted to help fellow jihadis secure passage to fight the ongoing wars on behalf of the terror group in Syria, the FBI said. In one such example, Amin drove his friend to northern Virginia’s Dulles Airport and helped him map out a plan to get into Syria to join ISIS.
Islam was the primary focus for Amin, his friend Abdullah said in a recent interview. “Islam … draws a person away from useless spending of time. It’s just the way Islam is by nature. He [Amin] was religiously motivated from a young age,” said his friend.
“Today’s sentencing demonstrates that those who use social media as a tool to provide support and resources to ISIL will be identified and prosecuted with no less vigilance than those who travel to take up arms with ISIL,” said U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente on Friday. “The Department of Justice will continue to pursue those that travel to fight against the United States and our allies, as well as those individuals that recruit others on behalf of ISIL in the homeland.”
Amin attempted to win over the judge by explaining, “I became lost and caught up in something that takes the greatest and most profound teachings of Islam and turns them into justification for violence and death.”
The FBI said he provided aspiring jihadis with information on how to obtain the virtual Bitcoin currency and other ways to financially assist the Islamic State.
“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,” said Andrew G. McCabe, assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, adding:
Amin’s case serves as a reminder of how persistent and pervasive online radicalization has become. 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.