US woman laundered cryptocurrencies to fund IS

December 15
13:03 2017

New York, Dec 15 (IANS) A woman from New York tried to fund the Islamic State (IS) terror group through Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, according to federal prosecutors.

Zoobia Shahnaz, 27, conned financial institutions of about $85,000, including about $60,000 in Bitcoin, to help fund the terror group, the New York Daily News quoted the prosecutors as saying on Thursday.

She wired more than $150,000 to shell entities in Pakistan, China and Turkey with the intention of helping IS.

Shahnaz allegedly got the $85,000 by making misrepresentations to get a $22,500 bank loan and by applying for six credit cards.

She converted the credit card funds to buy more than $60,000 in Bitcoins and other digital currencies, the prosecutors said.

The Brentwood resident faces up to 20 years on charges that include bank fraud and money laundering to support a foreign terrorist organisation, reports the New York Daily News.

She was also allegedly planning to travel to Syria. Federal agents intercepted her at the JFK Airport ahead of a July flight to Islamabad with a layover in Turkey.

She was carrying $9,500 in cash and gave vague answers on her travel plans, according to court papers. She was let go after the questioning and subsequently arrested on Wednesday.

She was “intending to put thousands of dollars into the coffers of terrorists”, acting Brooklyn US Attorney Bridget Rohde said.

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