- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 5, 2016

A French teenager has been punished under a federal anti-terrorism law after he named his wireless internet network after the Islamic State.

French media on Friday reported that an unnamed 18-year-old man from Dijon was recently convicted of “praising terrorism” and handed a three month suspended sentence.

The teen’s neighbors had alerted the police after noticing a Wi-Fi network with the name “Daesh 21.” Daesh is the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State terror group, and 21 in this instance likely referred to the district number assigned to Côte d’Or, the French province where Dijon is located.

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Prosecutors reportedly charged the teen under an anti-terrorism law passed in November 2014 that makes it illegal to “directly provoke acts of terrorism or to publicly praise one such act.” Convictions carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $83,000 fine, though prosecutors can seek heftier punishment if the crime is committed with a “public online communication service,” Ars Technica reported Friday. 

The teen appeared “totally dazed” when he appeared in court and insisted he was “not a terrorist,” local newspaper Le Bien public reported.

“He’s an 18-year-old who has not even been able to explain the name. I don’t think that renaming a Wi-Fi network is an act of praise! It’s neutral, it’s nonsense, it’s not an argument,” his attorney, Karima Manhouli, told Next Impact.

Authorities also seized several of the teen’s electronic devices and internet accounts but were unable to link him to terrorism in any way other than the name of his Wi-Fi network.

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