Mohamed Elshinawy, 30, received almost $9,000 from ISIS operatives in 2015 and was instructed to use it for “operational purposes.” Elshinawy never carried out an attack, but under the plea deal between Elshinawy and the state, he admitted to asking how to get or build an explosive device, according to the complaint.
Elshinawy had described his “love of jihad, his desire to eliminate ‘the bastards,’ and his commitment to breaking the Cross” in conversations over social media, as well as telling his brother about a dream in which he went to a church and shot people.
He had previously pleaded not guilty and had told the FBI that he never intended to use the money to carry out an attack. He claimed that he was only trying to make money by taking it from “thieves.”
“He portrayed himself as somebody who was simply trying to scam some money from ISIL,” the complaint reads. “He touted his success at having taken ISIL’s money and felt his efforts should be applauded. He thought he should be offered a job to work with the FBI to identify ISIL’s money network.”
In social media conversations during February 2015, Elshinawy pledged allegiance to ISIS. He said that “he was a soldier of the state but temporarily away” and added that “his soul was over there with the jihadists and every time he saw the news, he smiled.” The FBI believes that he was referring to the execution of 21 Egyptian nationals and ISIS’s territorial gains, which were in the news at the time.
Elshinawy is the second Maryland man to be charged with attempting to aid ISIS. In October, a federal grand jury indicted Nelash Mohamed Das on charges of plotting to support ISIS and murder a U.S. soldier, according to the Justice Department.
Read more at IJR