Ali Shukri Amin, 17, admitted Thursday that he was behind the the now-suspended Twitter account @Amreekiwitness, which at one point had over 4,000 followers. Through it, according to a Department of Justice statement on Amin, he provided instructions on how to use the world’s dominant online cryptocurrency, and how to set up a Bitcoin wallet for would-be donors. In corresponding blog posts, Amin added more advanced tips, like recommending the use of the anonymizing Dark Wallet.
He was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to a terrorist organization, charges that carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
Amin, an honor student at Osbourn Park High School in Manassas prior to his March 4 arrest, also admitted to assisting 18-year-old Virginia resident Reza Niknejad with traveling Syria to join IS.
It is unclear whether Amin will be charged as a juvenile. The designated Department of Justice spokesperson was not available for comment at press time.
“Today’s guilty plea demonstrates that those who use social media as a tool to provide support and resources to [IS] will be identified and prosecuted with no less vigilance than those who travel to take up arms” said U.S. Attorney Dana Boente.
Illustration by Max Fleishman