Zoobia Shahnaz, a New York resident, was sentenced to 13 years in jail for her role in terror funding using cryptocurrencies. According to the US Department of Justice, Zoobia defrauded several banks to obtain money for ISIS during March-July 2017.
Zoobia transferred over $150,000 in bitcoins.
According to the US DoJ announcement, Zoobia Shahnaz obtained more than a dozen credit cards and used them to purchase approximately $62,000 in bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies on the internet. She then went on to make multiple wire transfers worth over $150,000 to individuals and firms in Pakistan, China, and Turkey that were fronts for ISIS. Zoobia was indicted back in December 2017, and she pleaded guilty in November 2018 as she admitted to defrauding banks and funding terror organization ISIS.
Use of cryptocurrency in terror funding around the world
Cryptocurrency provides users with anonymity in transactions, which makes it tough for law enforcement to track down the users. The use of cryptocurrencies in the terror organizations has increased over the last few years with terror groups reaching to their sympathizers using encrypted messaging platforms. Several terror organizations, including Hamas, the Palestine terror organization, have received funding from other countries like Qatar and Iran in the past. However, cash is still the preferred choice among terror organisations.