(WASHINGTON) — An alleged ISIS supporter from Ohio was arrested Thursday on federal charges that he called for the slayings of members of the U.S. military by posting their names, addresses and photos on social media, urging his followers to kill them.
Terrence J. McNeil, 25, of Akron, Ohio, appeared in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Ohio after being charged with one count of solicitation of a crime of violence, the Justice Department announced Thursday afternoon.
Along with the names and addresses of military personnel, prosecutors say that some of McNeil’s postings read: “Kill them in their own lands, behead them in their own homes, stab them to death as they walk their streets thinking that they are safe.”
The file McNeil allegedly posted repeated several dozen photographs, purportedly of U.S. military personnel, along with their respective names, addresses and military branches.
The final repeated image, according to the Justice Department, is a picture of a handgun and a knife with text that reads “we have made it easy for you by giving you addresses, all you need to do is take the final step, so what are you waiting for? … kill them wherever you find them….”
Although McNeil was not charged with any overt acts to try to kill members of the military, the Justice Department and FBI asserted that the social media posts, allegedly inciting murder, were enough to warrant an indictment.
“While we aggressively defend First Amendment rights, the individual arrested went far beyond free speech by reposting names and addresses of 100 U.S. service members, all with the intent to have them killed,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony said.
The case was brought by the National Security Division of the Department of Justice, which warned in a statement Thursday, “ISIL and its followers continue to use social media in an attempt to incite violence around the world, including in the United States,” using the government’s acronym for ISIS.
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