Facebook ‘likes’ used as evidence of material support for terrorism
Los Angeles, CA – Four men – Sohiel Omar Kabir, Ralph Deleon, Miguel Alejandro Santana and Arifeen David Gojali – were charged with material support for terrorism in Riverside County, Nov. 19. The government alleges the men were planning to join the resistance to the U.S./NATO occupation of Afghanistan.
According to the indictment, evidence against the men includes postings and ‘likes’ on Facebook. The criminal complaint against the men also cites a Facebook discussion between two of the defendants, where they allegedly discuss plans of the Afghan resistance to negotiate with the U.S.
Much of the ‘evidence’ presented in the indictment is constitutionally protected speech, where the defendants express their views on the resistance to the occupation of Afghanistan. An entire section of the complaint is devoted to “social media.”
Laws covering material support for terrorism serve to criminalize opposition to U.S. wars and occupations.