Amin, 17, pleaded guilty in federal court as an adult to conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. His friend, according to court records, is now believed to be a member of the Islamic State in Syria. In a call to his mother not long after he left the United States, Niknejad said that he would “fight against these people who oppress the Muslims” and that he would see her in the afterlife, the FBI alleged.
Amin’s and Niknejad’s cases are, in ways, emblematic of the phenomenon, and, in other ways, unique. Both were born abroad — Amin, according to his attorney, in Sudan, and Niknejad, according to court records, in Iran — but both were naturalized citizens who came to the United States early in their youth. Both, for a time, were students at Prince William County’s Osbourn Park High School, though Amin withdrew in February and Niknejad graduated last June.