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

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United States investigators have uncovered a money laundering operation run by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) that transferred funds to an alleged ISIS supporter in the USA using fake eBay transactions, The Wall Street Journal reported. "This case demonstrates how terrorists exploit modern technology to inculcate sympathizers and build hidden networks, but federal agents and prosecutors are working tirelessly and using every available lawful tool to disrupt their evil schemes", then U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein said at the time, hinting at Elshinawy's alleged use of Ebay.

Mohamed Elshinawy was arrested in Maryland more than a year ago following a detailed FBI investigation, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a 2016 indictment. The funds allegedly came from Siful Sujan, who was killed in a 2015 drone attack. 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 United States drone strike in 2015.

Elshinawy was reportedly arrested a year ago and is now in federal custody awaiting trial.

Responding to the report, an eBay spokesman told the New York Daily News that "eBay has zero tolerance for criminal activity on our marketplace and we worked with law enforcement to bring this individual to justice". The $8,700 Elshinawy received from Sujan was allegedly meant to help fund a terrorist attack.

The 30-something man reportedly told investigators that the payment sent by ISIS was exclusively for "operational purposes" within the U.S. He denied planning an attack on the country himself but admitted that the money was sent to fund operations like "terror attacks". The money was sent to a 30-year-old USA citizen who had pledged allegiance to ISIS through allegedly fraudulent transactions on the eBay platform.

PayPal told the WSJ that the holding "invests significant resources" into reporting suspicious activity.