United States woman used bitcoin to move cash to ISIS

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Prosecutors say 27-year-old Zoobia Shahnaz was charged with bank fraud and money laundering in an indictment unsealed in Central Islip on Thursday.

While she was transferring money to the terrorist group overseas, authorities claimed, Shahnaz had "accessed ISIS propaganda, violent jihad-related websites and message boards, and social media and messaging pages of known ISIS recruiters, facilitators and financiers". "After consummating the scheme, the defendant attempted to leave the United States and travel to Syria".

Shahnaz allegedly meant to "put thousands of dollars into the coffers of terrorists", Acting U.S. Attorney for the Easter District of New York Bridget Rohde said in a statement.

Zoobia Shahnaz was arrested at her Long Island home for sending over US$150,000 through shell accounts in China, Pakistan and Turkey to benefit IS extremists. She has also traveled to Syria.

Shahnaz's lawyer pushed back on the charges, saying that she was only looking to help Syrian refugees she had met while volunteering in Jordan at the Syrian American Medical Society.




Considering that much of the suffering being inflicted on the people in the Middle East is at the hands of ISIS, funding the terrorist organization seems like an odd way to help "alleviate [their] plight".

Prosecutors say she took out fraudulent loans of $85,000 (£63,000) in order to buy the bitcoin online.

"In June, Shahnaz resigned from her job as a laboratory expert at the Manhattan Hospital and obtained a Pakistani passport".

Thee scheme was devised to "avoid transaction reporting requirements, hide the identity, source and destination of the illicitly obtained monies, and, ultimately, benefit ISIS", according to the Justice Department. After the transactions were sent, according to the statement, Shahnaz was questioned by law enforcement while attempting to travel to Syria from NY.

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