DePaul University student charged with attempting to aid ISIS

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A 20-year-old DePaul University student has been charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS, the U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois said Tuesday.

Thomas Osadzinksi, of Chicago, was arrested Monday and charged with one count of attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization. He appeared in court Tuesday and was ordered held without bond.

Prosecutors allege that Osadzinski, who they said is a student at DePaul, designed a process that uses a computer script to make it easier and more convenient for users to disseminate ISIS propaganda on social media. According to prosecutors, he shared the script and instructions on how to use with people he believed to be ISIS supporters and members of pro-ISIS media organizers, but who were actually undercover FBI agents and informants.

Prosecutors said social media platforms remove ISIS media content routinely. According to the complaint, Osadzinski's script would automatically copy and save ISIS media postings in an organized way, making it easier for supporters online to access and disseminate the content.

Steve Greenberg, the attorney representing Osandzinski, released a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying, "This is a young man who was acting lawfully. He is not writing code to support ISIS. While we understand the government has to be vigilant, they have overreached here, and seek to criminalize religious beliefs and free speech."

DePaul University confirmed Osandzinski is currently enrolled at the school and issued a statement, saying, "We recognize the seriousness of the charges and would cooperate with authorities if contacted."

Osadzinski is due back in court for a detention hearing on Friday.
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