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

An ISIS funding network used fake eBay transactions to transfer money to the US according to a recently unsealed affidavit

A terror plot used eBay and PayPal to funnel money to ISIS operatives inside the U.S., a report said Thursday. The FBI claims that Elshinawy, in his early 30s, sold computer printers on eBay as a front in order to receive the payments through PayPal.

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. He is thought to have been connected with now-deceased ISIS operative Junaid Hussain, who similarly inspired would-be Jihadi's in the U.S. Sujan was killed in a U.S. drone strike in December 2015. Some of the cash was spent on a laptop, a mobile phone, and software to set up a virtual private network that can mask a user's internet usage, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation believed was so he could communicate with ISIS operatives overseas, the Journal reported.

Similarly, PayPal told the newspaper that their portal "invests significant resources" into reporting suspicious activity.

The Journal reports that Elshinawy told investigators he was told to use the funds for "operational purposes" within the USA, which could include terror attacks.

An eBay spokesman told the 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".

Elshinawy is now in federal custody awaiting trial and has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him for conspiracy to provide and providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, terrorism financing, and making false statements in connection to terrorism. The $8,700 Elshinawy received from Sujan was allegedly meant to help fund a terrorist attack.

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