Be careful not to retweet ISIS posts, as it could lead you to jail in America
The FBI considers your retweets to be endorsement particularly when it comes to talking incessantly about the terrorist organization ISIS, according to a report by the NY Daily News. It can also apparently be used as evidence that you are trying to join ISIS. This is not the first time.
According to court documents filed on September 16th (placed in its entirety below), Ali Saleh, a 22-year-old Queens resident was arrested this week following an FBI investigation into his attempts to join ISIS. The organization had been tracking the Twitter-actions of Saleh.
According to the complaint against him, Saleh began tweeting his intense plans since 2013 signaling the law enforcement officials that he is heading in to a dark direction. Saleh’s retweets came up repeatedly in the complaint as cause for arrest. The FBI had Saleh under the microscope already, and many of the specific retweets did not make them go away:
In other cases too, the FBI has been using retweets as evidence against Twitter-happy ISIS wannabes, as a strategy. A 17-year-old Virginia resident was arrested this summer after frequently retweeting flattering statements about ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Many people retweet pro-ISIS tweets for other various reasons; for instance, to draw attention to show how powerful they are, or to make mockery of them. Several people retweet unpleasant things all the time. This doesn’t mean it should cause arrests. Lots of people started retweeting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after they found his Twitter account after the Boston bombing, but these were more “Look! I found this guy!” gestures than a sudden surge of simpatico intentions.
The next time when you see someone’s Twitter bio and it says “retweets aren’t endorsements” or something along those lines, know that the FBI is not agreement with this. However, unless there is a evidence that shows that the intent behind the tweets signified someone acting with criminal intent, the police cannot arrest them for retweeting ISIS. So, if that’s the case, they look to have no problem making the assumption that a retweet is an unambiguous endorsement.