AKRON, Ohio — An Ohio man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for seeking to recruit other Muslims to murder members of the U.S. military.
“With this sentence, McNeil is being held accountable for disseminating ISIS’s violent rhetoric, circulating U.S. military personnel information and explicitly calling for the killing of American service members in their homes and communities,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana Boente in a statement on Wednesday.
As previously reported, Terrence McNeil, now 24, was taken into custody in 2015 after being watched by the FBI, which discovered that he had posted the names and addresses of 100 service members on his blog by resharing various GIF files that urged readers to murder those listed for Allah.
“O brothers in America, know that the jihad against the crusaders is not limited to the lands of the Khilafah, it is a world-wide jihad and their war is not just a war against the Islamic State, it is a war against Islam,” one file read. “Know that it is wajib (necessary) for you to kill these kuffar (non-Muslims)!”
“And now 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?” it said. “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 FBI found that McNeil, a hospital worker, also made numerous posts on social media in favor of ISIS or expressed a desire to commit violence against Americans in general.
“Just thinking about getting martyred puts a smile on my face,” he reportedly wrote.
“Somebody should park a car bomb in front of a church, school or mall,” another post read.
Court documents further outline that McNeil had researched firearm costs online and was also in possession of bomb-making instructions.
In April of this year, McNeil accepted a plea agreement, pleading guilty to five counts of solicitation to commit a crime of violence and five counts of making threatening interstate communications. According to Cleveland.com, had his case gone to trial, McNeil would have likely been sentenced to life in prison.
During his plea hearing, McNeil refused to take the oath unless it was said “under Allah.”
“It is reassuring knowing that Terrence McNeil will spend a significant amount of time behind bars for the crimes he committed,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony in a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice. “The FBI will continue to aggressively defend First Amendment rights, however in this case, McNeil went far beyond free speech by reposting names and addresses of 100 U.S. service members, all with the intent to have them killed.”
“The FBI will remain vigilant in our efforts to stop those who wish to support these despicable acts,” he said.
As previously reported, just last week, a Kansas man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for plotting to detonate a bomb on a U.S. military base. John Booker, Jr., 22, of Topeka, had pleaded guilty in February 2o16 to one count each of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted destruction of government property by fire or explosion. He admitted that he had been plotting to detonate a car bomb at Fort Riley in a jihad suicide mission motivated by a desire to help ISIS.