New York: Pakistani woman sentenced to 13 years for funding ISIS

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A Pakistani-American woman — Zoobia Shahnaz — has been sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment by a United States’ Federal Court for providing material support to terror fronts of Islamic States in Pakistan, China and Turkey, ANI reported.

According to details, the verdict was pronounced by District Judge Joanna Seybert on Wednesday. Zoobia Shahnaz had pleaded guilty in November 2018 for providing material support to a foreign terrorist organisation, specifically more than USD 150,000 to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), and attempting to travel to Syria to join ISIS.

“As set forth in court filings and facts presented at the sentencing hearing, between March 2017 and July 2017, Shahnaz defrauded numerous financial institutions to obtain money for the ISIS, including a loan for approximately USD 22,500,” reads a statement by US Department of Justice.

“Shahnaz also fraudulently obtained more than a dozen credit cards and used them to purchase approximately USD 62,000 in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies online. Shahnaz then made multiple wire transfers totaling more than USD 150,000 to individuals and entities in Pakistan, China and Turkey that were fronts for ISIS,” added the statement.

On July 31, 2017, Shahnaz was arrested at John F Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, while attempting to board a flight with a layover in Istanbul, Turkey — a common point of entry for individuals travelling from western countries to join ISIS in Syria.

Shahnaz had accessed ISIS violent jihad-related websites and message boards, and social media and messaging pages of known ISIS recruiters, facilitators and financiers. She also performed numerous internet searches for information that would facilitate her entry into Syria.

Court-authorized search warrants executed at Shahnaz’s residence on Long Island resulted in the seizure of terrorist and jihad-related propaganda, including a photograph of a suicide belt of explosives and a night vision scope, the statement further said, ANI report read.

SourceANI, TBP

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