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Teen jailed for 11 years for running Isis Twitter account

Ali Shukri Amin was the first minor convicted in the US on this charge.

Image: PA ARCHIVE IMAGES

A TECH-SAVVY US teenager from Virginia was sentenced to 11 years and four months in prison today for conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State extremist group.

Ali Shukri Amin, 17, from the small town of Manassas, will be subject to a lifetime of supervised release and monitoring of his Internet activities.

He is thought to be the first minor convicted in the United States of providing material aid to the extremist group, which has declared a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

Amreeki Witness

The prolific Twitter user, who sent more than 7,000 messages on the site in support of IS, pleaded guilty in June.

Under the Twitter handle @Amreekiwitness, he provided IS supporters with instructions on using the virtual currency Bitcoin to conceal financial donations to the radical Islamist group and the best way to encrypt their online exchanges.

He also offered guidance to sympathisers seeking to travel to Syria to fight with IS, including another Virginia teen, Reza Niknejad, who traveled to Syria to join IS in January.

Niknejad, 18, was charged in June with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to provide material support to IS and conspiring to kill and injure people abroad.

Propaganda reaching the “vulnerable”

US prosecutors welcomed the sentence. Assistant attorney general John Carlin said “more and more” Is propaganda is seeping into American communities “reaching those who are most vulnerable.

The Department of Justice will continue to use all tools to disrupt the threats that ISIL poses.

Those who use social media to support IS would be “prosecuted with no less vigilance” than those who take up arms for the group, said US attorney Dana Boente.

Amin’s lawyer, Joseph Flood, had described his client as a stellar student from a good family who was outraged by rights abuses under Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

When Amin pleaded guilty, Flood said he was the first minor convicted in the United States of providing material aid to IS.

On Thursday, another man was arrested in Arizona and charged with providing material support to IS for allegedly helping a New York college student travel to Syria to train for jihad.

- © AFP, 2015 

Read: American teen faces 15 years in jail for running notorious ISIS Twitter account>

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