United States investigators have uncovered a money laundering operation run by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) that transferred funds to an alleged ISIS supporter in the U.S. using fake eBay transactions, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The man who allegedly received the money was American citizen Mohamed Elshinawy, arrested previous year in Maryland.
Elshinawy allegedly pledged his allegiance to IS and received nearly 9,000 dollars through fake eBay transactions by pretending to sell printers, according to the newspaper.
Investigators believe that the financial network had tentacles across the world, including in the United Kingdom and Syria, in a system controlled by Islamic State hacker Siful Sujan who was killed in an airstrike near Raqqa in December 2015. Some of the cash was spent on a laptop, a mobile phone, and software to set up a virtual private network that can mask a user's internet usage, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation believed was so he could communicate with ISIS operatives overseas, the Journal reported. Sujan was killed in a drone strike in 2015.
Elshinawy is now awaiting trial after pleading "not guilty" of support of terrorism, according to the newspaper. Elshinawy reportedly received almost $8,700 through the use of fake computer printer sales from Islamic State associates.
A spokesman for eBay Inc. said the company "has zero tolerance for criminal activities taking place on our marketplace" and said that they are working with law enforcement on the case.
PayPal told the WSJ that the holding "invests significant resources" into reporting suspicious activity.
Investigators suspect that the money may have been meant to fund attacks in the US.