A Southwest Missouri woman said to be a “well known person in the ISIS Twitter scene” was arrested on Thursday after making threats to FBI agents, and posting personal information about them, as well as United States Army, Navy, Air Force and State Department employees on social media. She also posted a threatening photo of President Obama and tweeted that a female media personality “would be better off without her head.”
According to the complaint affidavit, Safya Roe Yassin, 38, of Buffalo, Missouri, maintained dozens of Twitter and Facebook accounts where she posted pro-Islamic State propaganda and threatening messages. Yassin was charged with “communicating threats of violence over the Internet.” According to George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, Yassin went by “Muslimah” on one of her Twitter accounts.
Here’s a few tweets reportedly from Safya Roe Yassin when we released our ISIS in America report in December. pic.twitter.com/f9syOzNf3J
— Program On Extremism (@gwupoe) February 19, 2016
Federal investigators say Yassin made a post on Twitter in August with the names, cities and phone numbers of two FBI agents under the words “Wanted to kill.” According to the affidavit in the case, the threat originated with a Twitter account associated with ISIL, the Islamist militant group.
A criminal complaint in the case says in January the FBI had identified 97 Twitter account IDs as likely being used by Yassin to post content in support of ISIL. The complaint says Yassin posted another tweet in August saying, “The West thinks that caging Muslims will stop ‘terrorism’ … but they will be finding out soon, it only increases the attacks against them.”
The complaint says Yassin first got on the FBI’s radar in January 2015 when someone called the FBI to make a complaint about her. The caller told authorities Yassin had become convinced ISIL was going to save the world, according to the complaint. The caller also later told authorities he or she did not believe Yassin was a danger, the complaint says.
Via KY3, here’s a sample of the threats mentioned in the FBI agent’s affidavit:
“On August 24, 2015, and under the banner ‘We are the hackers of the Islamic State,’ Yassin retweeted the personal identifiable information of two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents with the statement ‘Wanted to kill,'” according to an FBI agent in a court document. “Numerous other tweets and retweets posted by Yassin . . . include: (a) a link containing photographs, addresses, other contact information, and even credit card information of United States Army, Navy and State Department employees (1 29); (b) a Tweet that a media personality “would be better off without her head” (l) 33); and, (c) a link in a retweet that lists the town of residence and phone number for approximately 150 United States Air Force personnel with the following quote: ‘Rejoice, O supporters of the Caliphate State, with the dissemination of the information to be delivered to lone wolves,’ God said: ‘And slay them wherever you may come upon them.'”
One of the threatening tweets detailed in the FBI agent’s affidavit depicted President Obama.
“On or about July 29, 2015, Twitter account 3276959443 . . . posted a photo along with the text ‘#Soon.’ The photo is an altered version of a popular photo. The original photo comes from the film ‘North By Northwest’ and depicted Cary Grant running in a field from an airplane. The version in the tweet had replaced Cary Grant’s face with President Obama’s face and had replaced the airplane with a military drone. As altered, the image depicts President Obama running from a drone strike.”
Yassin will remain in federal custody until her hearing, which is scheduled for Feb. 23 at 3 p.m.