Teen Gets More Than 11 Years for Helping Islamic State

28 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Northern Virginia teen sentenced to 11 years for aiding Islamic State.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A northern Virginia teenager has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for helping another teen travel to Syria to join the Islamic State and providing other aid to the militant group.

Just minutes before, the youth had read a statement to the judge saying he did not “ask for or expect sympathy” and stood ready to accept whatever punishment was imposed. The way they told it, the teen was a prolific, sophisticated Islamic State supporter whose efforts not only bolstered the terrorist group’s online propaganda machine but also sent them a real life fighter who will probably trade his life to advance their nefarious cause. But by his family’s and defense attorney’s accounts, Amin was little more than a troubled kid who lost himself while seeking acceptance and respect in a sinister, virtual world. He also helped an 18-year-old friend, Reza Niknejad, actually join up with the terrorist group in Syria, setting Niknejad up with the overseas contacts he had made, riding with him to the airport and even following along by picture message as Niknejad made his way over the border.

Joe Flood, Amin’s defense attorney, painted a far more sympathetic portrait of his client, submitting to the court 20 letters from friends and family members, a psychological assessment and even a letter from the teen in an effort to sway the judge toward leniency. Already on a quest to learn more about his faith — and upset over alleged atrocities against Muslims in the Middle East — Amin found respect, even reverence among people on the Internet with radical views.

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