Mohamed Elshinawy of Edgewood, Maryland, is accused of pledging his allegiance to ISIS, and receiving nearly $9,000 from the group to carry out a U.S. attack.
Elshinawy, 30, was arrested on Dec. 11 and charged with providing material support to ISIS, concealing evidence and lying to the FBI about money transfers, The Washington Post reported. Elshinawy told the FBI that he wanted to just take the money from ISIS and used the funds to buy phones, calling cards and laptops, according to the criminal complaint.
"When confronted by the FBI, he lied in order to conceal his support for [ISIS] and the steps he took to provide material support to the deadly foreign terrorist organization," Assistant U.S. Attorney General John P. Carlin said in a statement to The Baltimore Sun. “He will now be held accountable for these crimes.”
Elshinawy felt he should be rewarded for taking money form ISIS, which he deemed “thieves.”
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Elshinawy came under suspicion when the FBI learned that he was receiving payments from overseas. He remains in custody, but a dozen people have been arrested in the U.S. this year for ties to ISIS.
“We consider this to be a very early stage in the proceedings. We hope the public reserves judgment,” said federal public defender Joseph A. Balter.