Teen who tried to give ISIS Bitcoin advice pleads guilty to supporting terror

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

A Virginia teen who tried to give ISIS advice about using Bitcoin has pled guilty to supporting terrorism.

According to a Justice Department release, 17-year-old Ali Shukri Amin, a resident of Manassas, used the Twitter handle @Amreekiwitness (which has since been suspended) to show how ISIS members could more easily fund their operations without being noticed. Amin was the same person who last July uploaded a document explaining how ISIS could use Bitcoin. The document remains live.

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

"New developments in Bitcoin have allowed marketplaces that run on whatever law system the individuals choose," he wrote. "This instantly allows for shari’ [Islamic Law] only compliant markets that cross all borders, nation state regulations, send money instantly, and are untrackable by kafir governments."

Amin also blogged for a site called Coin Brief. The site has since removed his articles, but a Google Cache snapshot shows Amin's pieces included a story on OpenBazaar, the Bitcoin-based "police-proof" website that just raised $1 million from venture fund Andreessen Horowitz.

Amin, who was arrested in March, also admitted that he facilitated travel for an 18-year-old Prince William County, Virginia, resident who traveled to Syria to join ISIL in January 2015. That individual, Reza Niknejad, was charged yesterday with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.

Amin faces up to 15 years in prison.

“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,” said U.S. Attorney Dana Boente said in the statement.


Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`