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Buffalo woman pleads guilty to Twitter threats

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A Buffalo woman pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to making threats on Twitter on behalf of the Islamic State group.

Safya Yassin, 40, admitted she used the social media platform to threaten several people, including two FBI employees and two former members of the military and their families. She pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Douglas Harpool to two counts of transmitting threatening communications across state lines, according to a news release from the office of Timothy Garrison, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Under the pseudonym Muslimah, Yassin tweeted or retweeted messages in support of the Islamic State.

In 2015, Yassin tweeted threatening messages, such as “wanted to kill,” followed by the victims’ personal information, including job title, zip code and phone number, according to the release.

In one instance, Yassin linked to a publicly viewable document containing the name and home address, as well as photos of a U.S. service member with this message: “Once again I leave these details online to cause havoc in his life & for my brothers and Al-Qaeda in the U.S. to eventually hunt him down & kill him.”

Under federal statutes, Yassin could face up to 10 years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled following the completion of the presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office, according to the release.


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