By Steve Neavling
Federal prosecutors are calling for up to eight years in prison for an accused Islamic extremists who threatened FBI agents in Pittsburgh.
Khaled Miah, 28-year-old former University of Pittsburgh student and Bangladesh native, was convicted by a federal jury in December of interstate threats and obstruction by deleting his Twitter accounts.
In sentencing papers filed last week, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica Smolar and Nicole Stockey urged a judge to impose a strict sentence, partly to send a message that threats against the FBI won’t be tolerated, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
“Miah’s persistent threats, retaliation against the victims, and obstruction in this case warrant a severe sentence to punish Miah and to send a message to him and other like-minded individuals that criminal threats against law enforcement will result in severe consequences,” they said.
Miah’s attorney is asking judge to sentence him to no more than 41 months in prison.
“Mr. Miah was convicted of threatening the FBI on his Twitter account,” they said. “His threats were ambiguous, did not articulate a specific action to be taken, or a weapon to be used, or even a specific target.”
The FBI began investigating after receiving a tip about a YouTuber named “Blitz Kreig” threatening another user and referring to a potential attack on the U.S.
Agents discovered that Miah was behind the accounts at the University of Pittsburgh and found posts and tweets in support of ISIS and terrorism.
Miah refused to cooperate when reached by Agent Nicholas Edquist and a task force officer, Mike Matta.
After deleting his Twitter account, Miah sent Edquist’s wedding photos to a friend and tweeted a photo of the agent’s wife, in addition to personal information and sexual comments about her and the agent.
Miah continued to make threats against other Pittsburgh agents using a new Twitter account.
Agents found that Miah posted information in support of terrorism and searched for information about bombs, guns and terrorism.
On Miah’s phone, agents found photos of the agents with red lines through their faces.