Bitcoin WARNING: ISIS using cryptocurrency to fund reign of terror | City & Business | Finance

Bitcoin WARNING: ISIS using cryptocurrency to fund reign of terror | City & Business | Finance

An American woman is accused of laundering Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to help ISIS, according to federal prosecutors. 

Zombie Shahnaz, a 27-year-old Pakistani-Born US resident, was being held without bail following the formal reading of her charges on Thursday.

The 27-year-old was charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering.

Shahnaz fraudulently obtained more than $85,000 through a bank loan and credit cards to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies online.

The court documents said: “She made several wire transactions to individuals and opaque entities in Pakistan, China and Turkey, which were designed to avoid transaction reporting requirements and conceal the identity, source and destination of the illicitly-obtained monies.

“These transactions were motivated to benefit ISIS, which the defendant ultimately sought to join in Syria.”

Prosecutors said the 27-year-old quit her job in June without telling her family and was stopped by authorities at John F Kennedy International Airport in July while attempting to board a flight to Islamabad, Pakistan.

The flight included a stopover in Istanbul, Turkey, a common entry point for individuals trying to join ISIS in Syria, they added. 

Shahnaz’s lawyer said she was trying to send money overseas to help Syrian refugees.

Steve Zissou said: “What she saw made her devoted to lessening the suffering of a lot of the Syrian refugees and everything she does is for that purpose.”

The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center issued a report, warning how ISIS-affiliated websites are now accepting Bitcoin donations.

The report said: “In November 2017, a drive was launched on the ISIS-affiliated website Akbar al-Muslimin for donations of Bitcoins.

“The website has posted a link for Bitcoin donations. The donations are allegedly for the website, but in the ITIC assessment they may be used for ISIS broader goals, one of which is rehabilitating its propaganda machine and possible also for funding terrorist attacks abroad.”


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