FBI has arrested a 20-year-old student from Chicago, US, for trying to help the infamous terrorist group ISIS spread their propaganda. The young man named Thomas Osadzinski is a computer science and software development student at DePaul University.
He has been allegedly charged for writing a Python script, so other ISIS members could re-post it on their own accounts, and make ISIS propaganda more accessible to social media users.
The court documents state that Osadzinski has been charged with one count of “attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group.”
The criminal complaint against Osadzinski also claims that earlier this year, he shared the Python script and instructions with undercover FBI agents who posed as ISIS supporters in an online chat.
Osadizinski also told the undercover FBI agents that he was building a custom Gentoo Linux system that can be used by ISIS members to spread propaganda in social media.
He promised that the Linux distro he was developing could run on any computer as it would be very lightweight, fast, and secure.
Osadzinski also mentioned he was working on this project alone, and he would publish the project updates in an online chat room.
Furthermore, he wrote that the Gentoo Linux distro he was building would browse only one social media platform — to make it harder for intelligence agencies to hack it.
“When there are less things installed the operating system is harder to hack,” he added.
In May 2019, Osadzinski shared a screenshot of the Gentoo Linux distro that was under development with another FBI undercover agent and promised it would soon be available for ISIS supporters.
However, his progress was slow as he told the agents that building the OS “is hard work” and requires “a lot of studying.”
According to the FBI, Osadzinski has the technical know-how to pull off such a project as he has studied subjects like Python, Information Systems, Applied Networks and Security, and more.
If the charges of providing material support to ISIS get proven in the court, Osadzinski can be sentenced up to 20 years in prison.