USA citizen Mohamed Elshinawy allegedly made a fake ad for computer printers on Ebay as a ruse to receive payments from Islamic State operatives overseas, The Wall Street Journal reports. Federal agents believed he was selling computer printers on eBay as a front for receiving funds via PayPal from the terrorist organization, the Wall Street Journal reports. Elshinawy received $8,700 from ISIS, including five PayPal payments from senior ISIS official Siful Sujan through his technology company.
An FBI affidavit reviewed by TheWSJ revealed a "global network" of ISIS schemes using online payment systems to funnel its finances to terror operatives. 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. Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for PayPal said it "invests significant time and resources in working to prevent terrorist activity on our platform..."
Ebay sent Gizmodo the statement it had given other outlets, saying the company "has zero tolerance for criminal activity on our marketplace and we worked with law enforcement to bring this individual to justice".
Elshinawy pleaded not guilty to the charges of supporting the terrorist group and is now awaiting trial. Elshinawy reportedly received almost $8,700 through the use of fake computer printer sales from Islamic State associates. "We proactively report suspicious activities and respond quickly to lawful requests to support law enforcement agencies in their investigations".