An Akron, Ohio, Muslim man, who has “repeatedly professed” his support for the Islamic State (ISIL/ISIS), was charged with multiple criminal offenses for urging his “brothers residing in America” to behead 100 U.S. service members whose names and addresses he posted on social media, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Terrence J. McNeil, 25, has been indicted on three counts of solicitation of a crime of violence and three counts of threatening military personnel. McNeil was arrested on Nov. 12 on federal charges that he solicited the murder of U.S. troops.
The federal indictment alleges that McNeil maintained accounts on several social media websites, including Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler.
He is accused of professing his support for the terrorist group ISIS multiple times.
Using a Tumblr account, McNeil allegedly reposted a file on or about Sept. 24 with the banner, “Islamic State Hacking Division,” followed by, “Target: United States Military,” and, “Leak: Addresses of 100 U.S. Military Personnel.”
The file allows multiple still pictures to appear one at a time with a delay between each image.
On one of the pictures, the text allegedly reads:
O Brothers in America, know that the jihad against the crusaders is not limited to the lands of the Khilafah, it is a world-wide jihad and their war is not just a war against the Islamic State, it is a war against Islam… Know that it is wajib (translated to ‘necessary’) for you to kill these kuffar! and now we have made it easy for you by giving you addresses, all you need to do is take the final step, so what are you waiting for? Kill them in their own lands, behead them in their own homes, stab them to death as they walk their streets thinking that they are safe…
“The file then loops several dozen photographs, purportedly of U.S. military personnel, along with their respective name, address and military branch,” continues the indictment, adding, “The final image looped is a picture of a handgun and a knife with text that reads “…and kill them wherever you find them…”
On Oct. 3, the defendant posted links that revealed the purported address and photograph of the U.S. Navy Seal who killed Osama Bin Laden on his Twitter account, the indictment reveals.
The Navy SEAL “is a mummy’s boy who has been trying to hide yet still lives with his father… and mother… In between going around America to conferences boasting at how his ‘claim to fame’ is killing Sheikh Osama Bin Laden R.A. …I am posting his address to brothers & to Al Qaeda in the U.S. as a number one target,” reportedly states one of the links.
McNeil is accused of posting numerous violent anti-American statements on social media.
“I’ll be proud when I sled [sic] american blood,” he posted in May 2014.
Nearly two days later, McNeil posted, “Somebody should park a car bomb in front of a church, school, or mall.”
He also posted anti-semitic statements.
In July 2014, he posted, “13 Israeli soldiers killed today, if that’s not cause for celebration I don’t know what is.”
The three counts of solicitation carry a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison each, while each of the three threat counts carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison.
“According to the indictment, Terrence McNeil solicited the murder of members of our military by disseminating ISIL’s violent rhetoric, circulating detailed U.S. military personnel information and explicitly calling for the killing of American service members in their homes and communities,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin, in a Dec. 8 DOJ press release. “ISIL and its followers continue to use social media in an attempt to incite violence around the world, including in the United States. The National Security Division’s highest priority is counterterrorism and we will use all of our tools to disrupt threats and acts of violence against our military members and their families.”
“We owe it to our servicemen and women to protect their safety at home after they fought abroad to protect our freedom,” added U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach of the Northern District of Ohio. “This defendant is charged with urging harm to our men and women in uniform and will now answer for those threats.”
“While we aggressively defend First Amendment rights, the individual arrested went far beyond free speech by reposting names and addresses of 100 U.S. service members, all with the intent to have them killed,” said Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony of the FBI’s Cleveland Division. “We will remain vigilant in our efforts to stop those who wish to support these despicable acts.”
Carlin, Dettelbach, and Anthony announced the charges against McNeil on Dec. 8.