Ohio man accused of making threats against military members

AP News
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Posted: Dec 08, 2015 8:08 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man who prosecutors say was sympathetic to the Islamic State posted the names and addresses of 100 members of the military on social media and called for them to be killed, according to a federal indictment issued Tuesday.

A grand jury charged 25-year-old Terrence J. McNeil of Akron with three counts each of solicitation of a crime of violence and threatening military personnel. Mike Tobin, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cleveland, said prosecutors aren't aware of any attacks on the service members named.

Assistant U.S. Attorney General John Carlin said McNeil "solicited the murder of members of our military by disseminating violent rhetoric, circulating detailed U.S. military personnel information, and explicitly calling for the killing of American service members in their homes and communities."

The government said McNeil, a hospital employee, posted a file on his Tumblr account with the names and addresses of military personnel. The posting urged "Brothers in America" to "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," according to the indictment.

Tobin said the information came from the Islamic State overseas, and McNeil reposted it. He said he didn't know where the information originated.

McNeil was arrested Nov. 11 after federal prosecutors charged him with a related count of solicitation to commit a crime of violence, court records show. A call Tuesday to his court-appointed attorney, Nathan A. Ray, rang unanswered, and Ray didn't respond to an email seeking comment on McNeil's behalf.

On Oct. 3, McNeil allegedly posted the address of the Navy Seal he believed killed al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in 2011, calling him the "number one target."

"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 Stephen D. Anthony, special agent in charge of the FBI's Cleveland office. "We will remain vigilant in our efforts to stop those who wish to support these despicable acts."

Each solicitation count carries a sentence of 20 years in prison, and each threat count carries a maximum five-year sentence.