MARYLAND — Mohamed Elshinawy, 30, of Edgewood, Maryland, was arrested on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, on a federal criminal complaint charging him with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State, obstruction of agency proceedings; and making false statements and falsifying or concealing material facts.
“According to the allegations in the complaint, Mohamed Elshinawy received money he believed was provided by ISIL in order to conduct an attack on U.S. soil,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “When confronted by the FBI, he lied in order to conceal his support for ISIL […]”
The affidavit filed in federal court alleges that in June 2015, the FBI became aware of an individual located in Egypt who was attempting to send money to the United States, possibly for nefarious purposes. The investigation revealed that on June 28, 2015, that individual wire transferred $1,000 to Elshinawy. The FBI interviewed Elshinawy on July 17, 2015. The affidavit alleges that Elshinawy first claimed that his mother had sent him the money, and then that the money was to purchase an iPhone for a friend. Later, he admitted that a childhood friend had contacted him a few months earlier to connect him, through social media, with an unidentified member of ISIL (referred to in the complaint as the “unidentified ISIL operative”). Elshinawy began communicating with the unidentified ISIL operative through a method of communication used by ISIL. The defendant also admitted that he understood the individual in Egypt who wire transferred the money on June 28, 2015, also to be an ISIL operative (referred to in the complaint as the “Egyptian ISIL operative”).
Elshinawy said that he had received a total of $4,000 in two payments –$1,000 through Western Union and $3,000 through PayPal – and that the ISIL operative instructed Elshinawy to use the monies for “operational purposes,” which Elshinawy understood to mean causing destruction or conducting a terrorist attack in the United States. Elshinawy stated that ISIL instructed him that if he ever came under surveillance by law enforcement, he should stop whatever activities he was doing in connection with executing an attack. Elshinawy claimed, however, that he never intended to carry out an attack and was only trying to get money from ISIL.
More details here.
(Photo source: BuzzFeed News)