An Ohio man faces as long as 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to posting names and addresses of U.S. military personnel online and urging followers to kill them, according to a federal plea agreement filed Tuesday.
Terrence Joseph McNeil of Akron pleaded guilty to 10 of 15 counts in a superseding grand jury indictment handed up two weeks ago. Under the agreement, McNeil admitted five counts of solicitation to commit a crime of violence and five counts of making threatening interstate communications.
Sentencing was scheduled for Aug. 2 in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.
According to the superseding indictment, McNeil posted a purported ISIS file on his Tumblr.com account in September 2015 disclosing photographs, names, home addresses and military branches of dozens of U.S. service members. In several of the photographs, the military personnel were holding infants or young children, according to prosecutors.
The Tumblr message included a picture of a handgun and a knife with text that read, "and kill them wherever you find them," according to the indictment.
According to the indictment, McNeil had been making terroristic-sounding statements on a variety of social platforms for almost a year and half up until then, including:
- "I can't wait for another 9111 [sic], Boston bombing, or Sandy Hook!!!"
- "Somebody should park a car bomb in front of a church, school, or mall."
- "No American citizen is safe ... they are all valid target [sic]. Until our brothers and sisters are free from imprisonment, harassment, torture, bombs, and bullets American will bleed inshallah."
- "Being Muslim, black, and native american in the US, I feel like it's my duty to burn America."
A Justice Department official told NBC News when McNeil was arrested in November 2015 that government lawyers concluded that the posts weren't protected as free speech because they constituted an incitement to violence.
"The message should be clear that individuals who engage in this behavior will be aggressively prosecuted," David Sierleja, the acting U.S. attorney for northern Ohio, said in a statement.