Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) court documents have divulged that a senior Isis official used PayPal and eBay as an instrument to finance terror activities in the US. According to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, the terrorist group had used eBay as a cover-up to buy merchandises and download the payment via PayPal.
In an unsealed affidavit filed in the federal court in Baltimore, Maryland, a certain Mohamed Elshinawy, a US citizen who pledged allegiance to Isis, received around US$8,700 via PayPal from the terror group under the cover of bogus sale of computer printers on eBay.
Elshinawy, who is described to be in his 30s, was arrested by FBI over a year ago after authorities discovered his suspicious activities online. The suspect reportedly told investigators that he is not planning to stage a terror attack in the country but admitted that the money was sent to finance such activity.
FBI believes that senior Isis leader Siful Sujan, who died in 2015, was behind the funding, which is assumed to have also supported terror attacks in the UK and Bangladesh, among other countries.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the accusations and is now awaiting trial.
Both PayPal and eBay have pledged to strengthen their own security measures to prevent perpetrators from using their platforms as instruments for terrorist undertakings. A spokesperson for eBay said the e-commerce store has "zero tolerance" for criminal activities and it promised to coordinate with the authorities on the case. Meanwhile, a PayPal spokesperson said the company "invests significant resources" to report suspicious transfers of money around the world.