“An unusual terrorism case in Chicago came to a close Thursday [11/24/2022] when a federal judge handed a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence to a former DePaul University student who tried to aid the Islamic State with a computer script.

Before he was sentenced, Thomas Osadzinski, 23, told U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman that, ‘I failed everyone, and I failed myself.’ …

The judge also gave Osadzinski 10 years of supervised release.

Osadzinski’s prosecution was believed to be the first of its kind when it began three years ago – a terrorism case brought against a U.S.-based defendant involving computer code. …

Prosecutors said Osadzinski designed a process that uses a computer script to make Islamic State propaganda more conveniently accessed and disseminated by users on the social media platform Telegram.

Defense attorney Joshua Herman argued at trial that Osadzinski acted independently. He said … ‘there must be coordination with’ or direction from, the Islamic State to find Osadzinski guilty. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Melody Wells argued there was ‘nothing independent about this.’ She told jurors Osadzinski had been responding to Islamic State propaganda, which urged supporters to ‘strive patiently in the digital arena.’

In the end, the jury convicted Osadzinski of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State after a trial that featured roughly two weeks of evidence.”

– Sun-Times Media Wire, “Former Depaul Student Sentenced for Trying To Help Islamic State With Computer Program,” abc7chicago.com, November 18, 2022

Editor’s note: According to most historians of the Islamic State (also referred to as ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh), “the group emerged out of al-Qaeda in Iraq as a response to the U.S. invasion in 2003.” See Hassan Hassan, “The True Origins of ISIS,” theatlantic.com, November 30, 2018, for more information.