As it turns out the same place many of us turn to in order to buy old Batman watches, Derek Jeter autographed photos, and Coach handbags is the same place terrorists turn to in order to funnel money into our country.According to the Wall Street Journal:
U.S. investigators uncovered a global financial network run by a senior Islamic State official that funneled money to an alleged ISIS operative in the U.S. through fake eBay transactions, according to a recently unsealed FBI affidavit.The alleged recipient of the funds was an American citizen in his early 30s who had been arrested more than a year ago in Maryland after a lengthy Federal Bureau of Investigation surveillance operation that found the first clues to the suspected network.
Apparently, the alleged recipient, Mohamed Elshinawy, created a fake eBay account in which he pretended to sell computer printers.
Instead, Mr. Elshinawy received funds through this account to allegedly receive payments through Paypal in order to fund terror attacks.WSJ.com continues:
Mr. Sujan’s company, which built websites and “obtained and configured printers,” spent $18,000 to buy, from a Canadian company, military-grade surveillance equipment that could be used for aerial targeting, according to the affidavit. It also ordered electronic bug-sweeping equipment from a U.S. company to be sent to Turkey, the affidavit said.
Mr. Elshinawy received a total of $8,700 from individuals associated with Islamic State, according to the affidavit, including five payments through PayPal from Mr. Sujan’s company.He used the money for a laptop, a cellphone and a VPN communications network, all of which the FBI claims he used to communicate with the Islamic State network, according to the affidavit.
However, Mr. Elshinawy claims that “he knew the money was meant to conduct a terrorist attack” but “never planned to carry out any attack.”
This operation is certainly in line with the numerous and diverse, ‘anything to make a buck’ schemes ISIS has used to fund its operations.For example, the terror group has been known to kidnap for ransom, sell fake passports, imposes taxes on those within the territories they’ve conquered, and even steal livestock.
The group at one point was said to collect $40 million a month selling oil on the blackmarket.