NY woman laundered bitcoin to aide Islamic State

Zoobia Shahnaz 27 was indicted Thursday after she allegedly laundered more than $85,000 through Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies overseas to the Islamic State

NY woman laundered bitcoin to aide Islamic State

With that, she bought US$62,000 worth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which can offer owners anonymity in transfers and payments.

A 27 year old woman Zubia Shahnaz who is resident of Brentwood, was charged in federal court with bank fraud, conspiring to commit money laundering and three counts of money laundering, according to the US Attorney's Office.

While she was transferring money to the terrorist group overseas, authorities claimed, Shahnaz had "accessed ISIS propaganda, violent jihad-related websites and message boards, and social media and messaging pages of known ISIS recruiters, facilitators and financiers". "Shahnaz, a U.S citizen, was arrested yesterday", the statement continued.

Ms Shahnaz was born in Pakistan and worked as a lab technician in the US.

Her lawyer, Steve Zissou, said she was sending money overseas to help Syrian refugees.

Considering that much of the suffering being inflicted on the people in the Middle East is at the hands of ISIS, funding the terrorist organization seems like an odd way to help "alleviate [their] plight". Especially since the press release details some of Ms. Shahnaz's activities this past year. She was also allegedly able to obtain a loan from a Manhattan bank for approximately $22,500 in June. "These transactions were created to avoid transaction reporting requirements, hide the identity, source and destination of the illicitly obtained monies, and, ultimately, benefit ISIS". It is further alleged that Zubia Shahnaz also searched the maps and locations of the areas of Damascus, where Islamic State was active. Prosecutors say this is a "common point of entry" for people hailing from western countries attempting to join IS, according to the DOJ press release. "A month later, she tried to get a flight at John F. Kennedy International Airport with the intention of leaving the United States", reports Reuters News Agency.

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