The Young And The Stupid
Back in March, of this year, law enforcement accused the teenager of assisting 18 year old Reza Niknejad, of who officials are convinced, has since run off to Syria to join the ranks of ISIS with the newly found experience taught by none other than Ali Shukri Amin.
He now faces up to 15 years in federal prison.
The Art of Instruction
Ali, admittedly, had been teaching kids how to use ... wait for it ... bitcoin ... anonymously. Leading one to believe, that apparently these students of his weren't paying attention in real school, real life, or anywhere for that matter, pretty much indicating the likelihood of spending most of their lives under rock, because they should have at least learned, after 18 years, that they currently keep this type of information hidden on the internet, accessible only by uber-secret technology like Google.
According to this Department of Justice press release, Amin admitted, in a statement of fact as part of the plea agreement, to using the twitter handle @Amreekiwitness to "provide advice and encouragement to ISIL and its supporters,"
During a portion of Ali's outstanding curriculum, pupils learned the seemingly complicated process of sending funds to the terror group, using their new found secret skills. This process, in which Ali not only master himself, but provide in depth instruction for others, has been rumored by experts to require the complex combination and a cut, followed by a paste, and ending in the operation of a button, that must be pushed.
"Around the nation, we are seeing ISIL use social media to reach out from the other side of the world", Assistant Attorney General Carlin, "Their messages are reaching America in an attempt to radicalize, recruit and incite our youth and others to support ISIL's violent causes."
Which begins to get rather confusing, so these youngins have ascertained the ability to Tweet, but not to send coins? Tweeting requires a multitude of skills, such as sentence conjugation, typing, internet security access procedures, website navigation, and that's just to name a few. Sending bitcoins is as easy and taking a picture and pushing a button, yet this required "Professor Amin" to properly train these individuals in skill of bitcoin transmission?
Bitcoin, Cash, and Classes Not To Take
The other guy is in a heap of trouble as well, he was charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to provide material support to ISIS and conspiring to kill and injure people abroad ... all from learning to send a bitcoin.
Probable, is the accuracy of the assumption that this is not the only reason behind all of these allegations, but bitcoin seems to be getting allot of attention here without a single word regarding cash. Trust me, somewhere along the line, there was a dollar bill or two involved in this web of instructional mischief, bitcoins are not free. In fact, there have likely been other arrests this year for funding terrorism that involved things like cash, bank accounts, credit cards, and other electronic payment systems.
Law enforcement investigators reportedly spent a month watching Amil and instruct his army of Syria bound bitcoin senders. Apparently gathering enough evidence persuasive enough to elicit a guilty plea out of the young man.
"Today's guilty plea demonstrates that those who use social media as a tool to provide support and resources to ISIL will be identified and prosecuted with no less vigilance than those who travel to take up arms with ISIL,"
There you have, with the guilty plea on record to prove it. So the next time you want to show your buddy how to send a bitcoin, do you have to worry about this, and tale of Professor Amil? No, unless your are knowingly contributing to the funding of terrorism, or foolishly sign up for the another another "Professor Amil" type class of shady funding, you don't have anything to worry about.
In a society where teenagers are glued to cell phones, Facebook, and Instagram, they are being increasingly recruited by terrorist organizations using these very social media platforms, and 17 year olds, and teenagers of various ages, are not always an abundant source of experienced decision making, so school officials, parents, and community leaders, need to make sure they're the one's doing the teaching, starting with using this as an example of exactly what not to do.
The Guilty, Does Not A Problem Source Make
These individuals, knew what they were doing, Amil knew what he was doing, as did the other individual, and although "other guy" may have a "stupidity defense", it is not going to be of any use and they are both going to find themselves in prison, and likely for a very long time.
At the age of 17 in some circumstances, 18 in most others, and every subsequent year in age thereafter, United States citizens are legal adults, and being a teenager, or an idiot for that matter, is not an excuse worthy of any leniency by law enforcement or the justice system in the United States.
Are these two idiots? Certainly. Cold-hearted Terrorists? Perhaps not entirely, yet, but had they not been apprehended, then the probable outcome would have been exactly that.
Let's make sure, however, that we call apples, apples. The real problem in this case, is not these two adolescent idiots, it is not bitcoin, and it is not social media. No. Those are just tools. Tools being used by the actual problem here. ISIS.