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US Woman Gets 13 Years in Jail After Funding ISIS With Cryptocurrency

A woman from New York State committed various financial frauds in order to fund terrorist organisation ISIS, according the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ).

Zoobia Shahnaz has now been sentenced to 13 years in prison by Judge Joanna Seybert at the District Court in Islip, Long Island, for providing material support worth over $150,000 to a foreign terrorist organization and attempting to travel to join ISIS, the DoJ said in a news release Friday.

To fund the extremist Islamic group, Shahnaz had taken out a loan worth around $22,500, as well as fraudulently obtained credit card numbers in order to buy $62,000 in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies between March and June 2017.

Ultimately, she sent the funds via wire transfers to alleged "fronts" of ISIS in Pakistan, China and Turkey, the DoJ said.

In July 2017, Shahnaz had been arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York as she attempted to board a flight with a layover in Istanbul – a popular destination for people wanting to travel from Turkey to join ISIS in Syria.

She was also found to have visited ISIS' "violent jihad-related" websites and message boards, and online pages of "known ISIS recruiters, facilitators and financiers." Her web history further revealed she had been searching for details on how to enter Syria.

Shahnaz's home had contained terrorist-related propaganda, including a photograph of a suicide belt and a night vision scope, searches had found.

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