Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

US Jihadi Used Ebay To Get ISIS Money, Fund Potential Attack

US Jihadi Used Ebay To Get ISIS Money, Fund Potential Attack

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 US, where it was supposed to be used to fund terror attacks.

The alleged recipient of the funds, Mohamed Elshinawy, pretended to sell computer printers on eBay in order to disguise PayPal payments he received from ISIS members overseas, according to a recently unsealed affidavit filed in a federal court in Baltimore.

The suspect pledged allegiance to ISIS and used eBay to pretend to sell computer printers but instead received funds from overseas through PayPal, the Journal said.

An FBI affidavit reviewed by TheWSJ revealed a "global network" of ISIS schemes using online payment systems to funnel its finances to terror operatives.

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

The recently unsealed FBI affidavit, filed in federal court in Baltimore, alleges that Elshinawy was part of a global network stretching from Britain to Bangladesh that used similar schemes to fund Islamic State and was directed by a now-dead senior ISIS figure in Syria, Siful Sujan. Those funds were used to buy a laptop, a cellphone, and a VPN to communicate with IS, according to the affidavit.

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

This meant that funds were intended for the organization of possible terrorist attacks in the United States.

A spokesperson for PayPal told Gizmodo it is working with law enforcement on this investigation and that the "company proactively reports any suspicious activities, investing significant time and resources into our vigilant efforts to prevent terrorist activity on the PayPal platform".

Elshinawy claimed that he was not advised on how he should use the money to stage an attack on USA soil, but was given the then-recent Draw Muhammed Contest shooting in Texas as an example.

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