WASHINGTON–An Akron, Ohio man pleaded guilty to five counts of solicitation to commit a crime of violence and five counts of making threatening interstate communications involving his soliciting the murder of members of the U.S. military.
Terrence McNeil, 24, pleaded guilty to soliciting the murder of members of the military. He disseminated ISIL’s violent rhetoric, circulated U.S. military personnel information, and explicitly called for the killing of American service members in their homes and communities, according to Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord
“Now, he will be held accountable,” said McCord. “The National Security Division’s highest priority is counterterrorism. We will continue to use all of our tools to disrupt those who use social media to threaten acts of violence against our military members and their families, on behalf of terrorist organizations.”
“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,” said Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony. “We will remain vigilant in our efforts to stop those who wish to support these despicable acts.”
According to court documents, McNeil, a U.S. citizen, professed his support on social media on numerous occasions for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization. On or about Sept. 24, 2015, using a Tumblr account, McNeil reblogged a file with the banner “Islamic State Hacking Division,” followed by “Target: United States Military” and “Leak: Addresses of 100 U.S. Military Personnel.”
The file type is a .gif file, which allows multiple still images to be looped in one file, with a timed delay between each image.
The file then loops several dozen photographs, purportedly of U.S. military personnel, along with their respective name, address and military branch. The final image looped is a picture of a handgun and a knife with text that reads “…and kill them wherever you find them…”
The McNeil allegedly posted multiple other kill lists in late 2015, all of which repeated the same refrain, calling on others to seek out and murder U.S. servicemen and women.
McNeil is scheduled to be sentenced on August 2. Under the terms of his plea agreement, he faces a sentence of between 15 and 20 years in prison.