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Virginia teen facing 15 years in prison for Internet aid to Islamic State jihadists

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A tech-savvy US teen pleaded guilty in court on Thursday to using social media to aid the Islamic State group, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Ali Shukri Amin, 17, a resident of Virginia, admitted in court to providing advice and encouragement to IS and its supporters.

“Guilty, sir,” the teen answered, when asked by the judge in the court in Alexandria, Virginia to state his plea to the charges.

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With a slender build and wearing a trace of a moustache, the high school student admitted to having sent more than 7,000 Tweets in support of IS.

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

The teenager also expressed support for jihad on his Al-Khilafah Aridat blog.

And he used what the FBI official leading the investigation called his “prolific online presence” to offer guidance to supporters seeking to travel to Syria to fight with IS.

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“Around the nation, we are seeing ISIL use social media to reach out from the other side of the world,” said John Carlin, US Assistant Attorney for National Security, using the acronym most frequently employed by Washington officials when referring to IS.

“Their messages are reaching America in an attempt to radicalize, recruit and incite our youth and others to support ISIL’s violent causes,” he said.

The Justice Department said Amin also facilitated travel for another young ISIS recruit, Reza Niknejad, 18, who traveled to Syria to join the group in January.

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Niknejad was charged Wednesday in federal court in Virginia with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to provide material support to ISIS and conspiring to kill and injure people abroad.

Carlin, in a statement, issued a warning to parents to closely monitor their kids’ online interactions.

“This case serves as a wake-up call that ISIL’s propaganda and recruitment materials are in your communities and being viewed by your youth,” the federal prosecutor said.

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“This challenge requires parental and community awareness and action to confront and deter this threat wherever it surfaces,” he said.


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Giggling Fox & Friends hosts gloat over Lewandowski hearing: ‘He gave as good as he got!’

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The hosts of "Fox & Friends" giggled and gloated over Corey Lewandowski's contentious appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.

President Donald Trump's former campaign manager claimed executive privilege over testimony he gave before special counsel Robert Mueller, admitted he had lied in TV appearances and cracked jokes during five hours of testimony -- and the Fox News hosts were delighted.

"He gave as good as he got," said co-host Steve Doocy.

Co-host Ainsley Earhardt was laughing so hard she could barely speak.

"She said the truth shall set you free," Earhardt said, quoting Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) through guffaws. "'Answer the question,' there was no question."

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Saudi Arabia said it will unveil the results later Wednesday of its probe into attacks on key oil installations, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heads to the kingdom to discuss possible retaliation.

Riyadh, which is bogged down in a five-year war against Tehran-aligned rebels in neighbouring Yemen, has said that the weapons used were Iranian-made, but has not directly blamed its arch rival.

However, the Saudi defence ministry said its spokesman would present evidence from the site of the weekend attacks that halved Saudi oil production, sending global energy markets into a tailspin.

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‘Heartless and unconscionable’: Outrage as General Motors cuts off healthcare for 50,000 striking workers

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"It is cruel and outrageous that GM has cut off the healthcare benefits from their employees in a blatant attempt to force the union into submission," said Sen. Bernie Sanders.

In a move critics said exposes both the particular cruelty of General Motors executives and the systemic inhumanity of the American healthcare system, GM on Tuesday stopped covering health insurance premiums for the nearly 50,000 auto workers striking for fair wages and decent benefits.

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