Federal Bureau of Investigation uncovers IS scheme to transfer money to USA via eBay

Pauline Gross
August 11, 2017

An FBI investigation found that a senior Islamic State official sent money to an alleged operative based in the US via a global financial network that used fake eBay sales to mask payments, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, an American man convicted for his ties to ISIS said during his interrogation he used sales on eBay as cover for transferring money into the USA, where it was supposed to be used to fund terror attacks.

Investigators allege that Elshinawy, who lived in Edgewood, Maryland, was recruited to ISIS in 2015 by a childhood friend.

"The government had alleged in a 2016 indictment that the American suspect, Mohamed Elshinawy, pledged allegiance to Islamic State and had pretended to sell computer printers on eBay as a cover to receive payments through PayPal, potentially to fund terror attacks".

Sujan was the former director of computer operations for ISIS, the affidavit said, and was killed by a USA drone strike in 2015.

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Elshinawy was reportedly arrested more than a year ago following a surveillance operation that ultimately led to the discovery of the financial network, and he now awaits trial in federal custody after pleading not guilty to charges of supporting the terrorist group.

A recently unsealed affidavit said that the suspect was part of a global network and was told to use the money for "operational purposes", meaning a possible terror attack.

Elshinawy allegedly used social media, multiple email accounts and a "pay as you go" cell phone purchased with a fake name and address to communicate with ISIS affiliates, including his friend.

A spokesman for eBay told The Wall Street Journalit "has zero tolerance for criminal activities taking place on our marketplace".

PayPal told the WSJ that the holding "invests significant resources" into reporting suspicious activity. The company is assisting authorities, it said.

Other reports by GizPress

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