Harrisburg alleged ISIS supporter “did nothing other than tweet,” lawyer says

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Jalil Aziz, the 19-year-old from Harrisburg facing federal charges of supporting and aiding the terror group ISIS, pled not guilty Tuesday to four new charges against him.

The hearing at the Federal Building in Downtown Harrisburg lasted less than 30 minutes. Aziz's attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Thomas Thornton, admitting that while his client did, in fact, retweet an ISIS account which listed names, addresses, and photographs of nearly 100 U.S. military members, Aziz had no way of impacting anything which would come out of it.

"He's a young teenager, who did nothing other than tweet," Thornton said to reporters following the hearing. "He was tweeting in his bedroom. He had no money. No passport."

Thornton added Aziz is not a danger to the public, despite the fact the Twitter accounts he retweeted called on ISIS supporters to kill the American servicemen and women listed in the tweet.

However, Thornton withdrew a request for Aziz to be released from Dauphin County Prison on house arrest, telling U.S. Middle District Chief Judge Christopher Conner that Aziz's parents could not guarantee their son's safety.

"It would’ve been all on us to prove he could be supervised and parents felt it was too high of a mountain to climb," the defense attorney said, adding both the public and media know where the family lives following the public arrest on December 18. "They are very sad their son has to stay in jail."

No family members accompanied Aziz to court.

Federal prosecutors have until July 8 to turn over evidence for Aziz's defense team to review. Any trial would not expect to begin until 2017.

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