Brentwood Woman Charged With Sending Money to ISIS

Frederick Owens
December 17, 2017

Shahnaz a year ago travelled to Jordan to volunteer with the Syrian American Medical Society, during which times she helped give medical aid to Syrian refugees in refugee camps where ISIS "exercises significant influence", according to court documents.

The suspect converted credit card funds to buy more than $60,000 in bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Her lawyer, Steve Zissou, said she was sending money overseas to help Syrian refugees.

"Her itinerary included a multiday layover in Istanbul, Turkey - a common point of entry for individuals traveling from Western countries to join ISIS in Syria", prosecutors said.

Zoobia Shahnaz was charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and three counts of money laundering at Central Islip federal court.

Various news reports describe Shahnaz as a USA citizen with no criminal record who was born in Pakistan. Her family thought she was headed to work that day, but weeks earlier she had quit her job as a lab tech at a Manhattan hospital, where she was making about $71,000 a year, officials said.

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Shahnaz was arrested on Wednesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport, following a line of questioning by law enforcement officials who stopped her as she tried to leave the USA for Islamabad, Pakistan.

"The indictment reflects the resolve of this office, together with our law enforcement partners, to investigate and prosecute anyone who would seek to support terrorists, including those who would perpetrate financial crimes to do so", said Rohde, in prepared remarks.

She is standing trial in NY and faces 90 years in prison if convicted.

She then allegedly tried to leave the United States for Syria via Pakistan and Turkey, but was stopped before she left the country. We will do all we can to stop the next person hoping to do the same.

Both the court filing and the indictment released Thursday allege that Shahnaz defrauded several financial institutions, which is how she gained more than $85,000.

Zoobiah Shahnaz, an American from Long Island, is accused of funnelling $62,000 to the group via bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies earlier this year. "Shahnaz has been held without bail and the case will call again on January 5th".

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