The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) uncovered a global scheme by the Islamic State terrorist group to use e-commerce giant eBay to transfer money to an alleged IS operative in the United States through fake transactions.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing a FBI affidavit that one of the suspected recipients of the IS funds was a U.S. citizen by the name of Mohamed Elshinawy.
Elshinawy, aged around 30, was arrested by the FBI in Maryland over having ties to the terror group in 2016.
Elshinawy allegedly pledged his allegiance to IS and received almost 9,000 dollars through fake eBay transactions by pretending to sell printers, according to the newspaper.
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.”
This meant that funds were intended for the organization of possible terrorist attacks in the United States.
Elshinawy is currently awaiting trial after pleading “not guilty” of support of terrorism, according to the newspaper.
The suspect is considered to be a part of a global network of IS funding, stretching from Bangladesh to the United Kingdom.
A senior IS member in Syria, Siful Sujan, who was killed in a drone strike in 2015, was instrumental in the development of this network.
A spokesman for eBay said that the company has “zero tolerance” for crime on its platform and is currently cooperating with law enforcement on the case.
PayPal’s spokeswoman said that the company supports the authorities in their ongoing investigations related to suspicious transfers of money.