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Margaret Mia

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Former DePaul Student Sentenced to Prison in Terrorism Case | Inside Higher Ed


A former DePaul University student who tried to aid the Islamic State was sentenced Thursday to seven and a half years in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.

According to the Sun-Times, federal prosecutors said Thomas Osadzinski, 23, “designed a process that uses a computer script to make Islamic State propaganda more conveniently accessed and disseminated by users on the social media platform Telegram.”

Osadzinski shared his computer script with people he thought were ISIS supporters but who were actually undercover FBI agents and members of law enforcement, according to WTTW News.

Prosecutors alleged that Osadzinski’s “fascination” with ISIS began the year before his arrest in 2018, after the FBI received a tip that he posted in chat rooms stating he wanted to commit “jihad.”

“The defendant knew ISIS needed help in the ‘digital realm,’ and he offered that help,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Barry Jonas and Melody Wells, along with Alexandra Hughes of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section, wrote in a sentencing memorandum this month.

When Osadzinski was arrested in November 2019, there was evidence in his apartment that he had researched the agent who handled the case. Law enforcement authorities also found a drawing with a written statement saying, “Stop their terrorist” and a picture of a “terrorist” pointing a gun at an agent lying dead on the floor, covered with blood.

Before he was sentenced, Osadzinski, 23, told U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman, “I failed everyone, and I failed myself,” the Sun-Times reported. “I was in a dark place when all of this happened and, looking back, I see how alone I felt.” He added, “I completely reject ISIS.”



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