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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 18, 2021

Chicago Man Convicted of Attempting To Provide Material Support to ISIS

CHICAGO — A federal jury today convicted a Chicago man of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

The jury convicted THOMAS OSADZINSKI, 22, after a two-week trial in U.S. District Court in Chicago.  The charge of attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman did not immediately set a sentencing date.

The conviction was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Mark Lesko, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the U.S. Department of Justice; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. 

The case was investigated by the Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is comprised of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Barry Jonas and Melody Wells of the Northern District of Illinois, and Alexandra Hughes, Trial Attorney of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

Evidence presented at trial revealed that ISIS and its supporters disseminated the terror group’s propaganda materials on social media to recruit fighters and inspire violence against the United States and other countries.  Many social media platforms remove ISIS media content due to the violent nature of the materials.  Osadzinski, a U.S. citizen, designed a process using a computer script to make ISIS propaganda more conveniently disseminated online.  The process would automatically copy and preserve ISIS media postings in an organized format, allowing social media users to continue to conveniently access and share the content.

Osadzinski in 2019 shared his script – and instructions for how to use it – with individuals whom he believed to be ISIS supporters and members of pro-ISIS media organizations.  Unbeknownst to Osadzinski, the individuals were actually covert FBI employees and a person confidentially working with law enforcement.

Topic(s): 
Cyber Crime
Counterterrorism
National Security
Updated October 18, 2021