A 30-year-old man from Edgewood was arrested Friday on charges that he attempted to provide “material support” to the Islamic State. When he was first approached by the feds, Mohamed Elshinawy claimed he was scamming the terrorist organization.
According to U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein’s office, Elshinawy received money that he believed was for “operational purposes,” meaning it was for an attack on U.S. soil. However, authorities do not say Elshinawy plotted an attack.
Elshinawy received payments through PayPal totaling $8,700 between March and June. Authorities say Elshinawy initially lied about the money, saying first that it was from his mother. He later admitted that he made contact with an ISIL rep through social media, then used a “method of communication used by ISIL.” In other cases, he used e-mail accounts and “pay as you go” phones under various aliases. In another, he pretended to sell printers on eBay as a cover.
Initially, he told the FBI that he was defrauding the terrorists, and using the money to pay bills and buy furniture.
But further investigation found that he was lying, the feds say. Elshinawy “pledged his allegiance” to the terrorist organization in February, and asked a childhood friend to communicate this with members of the terrorist organization.
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