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Ohio Man Sentenced to 20 Years Over ISIS Threats to Military

An Akron man who was charged with using social media to distribute ISIS messages encouraging attacks on military members was sentenced to 20 years on Wednesday.
Image: FILE PHOTO: A member of the Iraqi rapid response forces walks past a wall painted with the black flag commonly used by Islamic State militants, during battle in the Wahda district of eastern Mosul, Iraq
A member of the Iraqi rapid response forces walks past a wall painted with the ISIS flag in eastern Mosul on Jan. 8.Alaa Al-Marjani / Reuters file

An Ohio man who pleaded guilty to using social media to encourage the killing of members of the U.S. military on behalf of ISIS was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison, the Justice Department said.

Terrence J. McNeil, 24, of Akron, earlier pleaded guilty to five counts of solicitation to commit a crime of violence and five counts of making threatening interstate communications, according to the government. He was arrested in November of 2015.

Prosecutors have said he used his account on Tumblr, a blogging website, in September of that year to re-post material from the terror group that included several dozen photographs, names and addresses purported to be that of members of the military. The ISIS message ended: “Kill them whenever you find them.”

There is no indication any action was taken due to the postings. No terrorism charges were filed.

“This defendant was dedicated to attacking members of the military here in the United States,” Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio David A. Sierleja said in a statement. “This kind of fanaticism is dangerous and will be aggressively prosecuted.”

Court documents say McNeil declared his support for ISIS in June of 2015 but had expressed his hopes for violence in the U.S. for over a year.