Boy Advising ISIS on Bitcoin Gets 11 Years in Prison

The teenager who was instructing the supporters of ISIS to use bitcoin will now be spending more than a decade behind bars. Ali Shukri Amin, a 17 year old kid from Manassas, Virginia has been sentenced to 11 years in prison by the U.S. District Judge, Claude M. Hilton.

Ali Shukri Amin had pled guilty in June for offering advice to ISIS supporters regarding the usage of bitcoin for raising funds. Amin was apparently using a twitter handle by the name @Amreekiwitness to offer advice about various ways of using encryption and anonymity software, tools and techniques that can be used by ISIS to mobilize funds using bitcoin while avoiding surveillance and detection.

He is said to have mentioned ways to facilitate the transport of ISIS sympathizers and supporters into Syria. Amin, apart from the prison sentence will also be under lifetime supervision for his involvement in a conspiracy to support a known terrorist organization.

The documents submitted in the court states that Amin had shared a tweet linking an article to one of his blog posts titled “Bitcoin wa Sadaqat al-Jihad” which translates to Bitcoin and the charity of Jihad. The article is alleged to have had detailed explanation of how bitcoin can be used by jihadists to fund their activities.

Amin’s case was handled by federal agents from FBI Washington Field Office. The case has been chosen as an example by the federal authorities to send a message across to anyone who is using social media and other online channels to support terrorist activities.

Following the judgement, Dana J Beonte, US attorney of the Eastern District of Virginia stated that the sentencing of Amin shows that people who are supporting the terrorist group over social media will be identified and prosecuted the same way as those who travel and take up arms with ISIS.



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