The third was Jalil Aziz, a Pennsylvania man who was arrested for allegedly providing material support to the Islamic State, by spreading its propaganda on social media and for seeking to help the group’s supporters travel to Syria to fight. Aziz also encouraged other Islamic State supporters he communicated with to use U.S.-based encrypted messaging applications, prosecutors said.
“The common connection we’re seeing is — in almost every case — a tie to social media,” said John P. Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security, at a conference last month hosted by the news site Defense One. He also pointed out that many of the cases involve young people, who are at ease building relationships online.
More than 55 percent of those charged are under 25 years old. Most troubling, Carlin said, about one-third are 21 or younger.
“That’s not the same age demographic that we saw with al-Qaeda,” he said in a discussion at the Atlantic Council last month.