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Ohio man charged with soliciting killings of U.S. service members

WASHINGTON -- An Ohio man who prosecutors say professed online support for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was arrested Thursday and charged with soliciting the killings of U.S. service members, the Justice Department said.

Federal prosecutors say 25-year-old Terrence McNeil of Akron reposted names and addresses of dozens of service members and called for online followers to take the "final step" and kill them.

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Authorities believe the man in this image, taken from a Tumblr account, is Terrence McNeil, who was charged Nov. 12, 2015, with soliciting the killings of U.S. service members. Abu-Fil/Tumblr

McNeil appeared Thursday in federal court in Ohio on a charge of solicitation of a crime of violence. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had a defense lawyer.

According to a criminal complaint, McNeil repeatedly exhorted violent action online, saying in one May 2014 post that "I can't wait for another 9/11, Boston bombing, or Sandy Hook!!!"

At another point, federal authorities allege, he suggested that "Somebody should park a car bomb in front of a church, school, or mall."

More recently, prosecutors say, McNeil posted on his Tumblr account that "until our brothers and sisters are free from imprisonment, harassment, torture, bombs, and bullets American will bleed inshallah," using the Arabic for "God willing."

CBS News' Paula Reid reports that documents allege that in one posting, McNeil included an image of a handgun and a knife with text that reads "kill them wherever you find them."

The Justice Department has prosecuted dozens of ISIS supporters in the last year, mostly for providing material support to the terrorist organization.

But this case was brought under a different legal theory, accusing a defendant of using social media networks to incite others to violence.

In announcing the case, federal authorities maintained that McNeil's actions went well beyond constitutionally protected speech.

"While we aggressively defend First Amendment rights, the individual arrested went far beyond free speech by reposting names and addresses of 100 U.S. service members, all with the intent to have them killed," Stephen Anthony, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Cleveland field office, said in a statement.