Maryland man charged with trying to support Islamic State

He was also charged with lying to federal agents and obstructing their investigation


Reuters December 15, 2015
PHOTO: AFP

MARYLAND: A Maryland man has been charged with attempting to provide material support to Islamic State (IS), the Justice Department said on Monday, becoming the latest of more than 70 people arrested by US law enforcement authorities for suspected ties to the militant group since 2014.

Mohamed Elshinawy, 30, of Edgewood, Maryland, was arrested on Friday, the Justice Department said. He was also charged with lying to federal agents and obstructing their investigation.


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According to a criminal complaint unsealed on Monday, Elshinawy pledged allegiance to IS in February and later told his brother he wanted to die as a martyr. He is a US citizen, according to the complaint.


Investigators said he received nearly $9,000 in payments from people he understood were associated with IS, which controls wide swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and has urged followers to carry out attacks around the world.


Elshinawy used several disposable mobile phones, social media accounts and email accounts to hide his communications with those people, the government said.


When interviewed by federal agents, according to the complaint, Elshinawy said he never intended to carry out an attack and was simply trying to convince IS to send him money.


He was expected to appear in federal court in Baltimore later on Monday. His defense lawyer could not immediately be identified.


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Earlier on Monday, an Illinois National Guard member pleaded guilty to plotting with his cousin to attack a military facility as part of a conspiracy to support IS.


In addition, the husband and wife who fatally shot 14 people in San Bernardino, California this month were inspired by IS, according to US authorities.

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