ISIS used eBay to funnel cash to operative in US


A senior official for the Islamic State used phony eBay deals to funnel money to an operative living in the U.S., according to an unsealed Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit.

The paper, unsealed in federal court in Baltimore, alleges USA citizen Mohamed Elshinawy was involved in a global network that used eBay to fund ISIS.

The man who allegedly received the money was American citizen Mohamed Elshinawy, arrested a year ago in Maryland.

Elshinawy received money via the PayPal online payment system and said that he was instructed by the terror group to use it for "operational purposes". Elshinawy claims he did not plan to plan to carry out an attack, and he's now awaiting trial.

But after his arrest in December 2015, Elshinawy claimed that he never meant to carry out such an attack and was only trying to get money from ISIS, according to a release from the US Department of Justice.

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Investigators believe that the financial network had tentacles across the world, including in the United Kingdom and Syria, in a system controlled by Islamic State hacker Siful Sujan who was killed in an airstrike near Raqqa in December 2015.

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".

Some of the key players in the alleged network, which also bought military-grade surveillance equipment that could be used for aerial targeting, were arrested or killed in a coordinated global sweep in December 2015.

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".