Social media has become the most powerful source of information and communication all across the world. But sometimes these platforms are often manipulated for negative purposes. A teenager who shared Islamic State (IS) propaganda on WhatsApp has been jailed for three and a half year in a trial at the Old Bailey, London.
The booked teenager, Iftikhar Ali aged 19, was accused of sharing propaganda of IS, a terrorist organization also known as ISIS, involved in warfares in Iraq, Syria and other areas in the Middle East. Ali was 17 years old when he got involved in IS’s social media activities and started sending extremist material from his mobile phone.
Ali refused 12 counts of spreading a terrorist document titled “Oh Islamic State You Light the World” and also possessing the document
potentially useful for a person committing an act of terrorism. Ali claimed that he had this content on his mobile for research purposes. But in the trial, Ali was found guilty of all the charges. Judge Mark Dennis QC ruled the case against him, hinting towards the potential harm of keeping such content. The judge said,
“The young and impressionable are particularly susceptible to such propaganda.”
Judge Dennis also said that Ali would have been booked for at least five and a half years in the jail if he had been an adult at the time of the offense. The judge reduced the terms of the imprisonment due to his young age.
This comes as a warning for other careless people on social networks who share content, regardless of knowing whether they are following a propaganda or not.