Four men have been arrested in North America over claims they posed as humanitarians to raise ‘blood money’ to support terror group ISIS.

The defendants allegedly collected and transferred approximately $35,000 through cryptocurrency and other electronic means to Bitcoin wallets and accounts they believed to be funding ISIS.

Also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh, Islamic State is a militant group and former unrecognised quasi-state that follows the Salafi jihadist branch of Sunni Islam.

A federal court in Brooklyn, New York heard charges filed against Mohammad David Hashimi, Abdullah At Taqi, Khalilullah Yousuf and Seema Rahman that they conspired to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

“As alleged, this crowdfunding network used cryptocurrency, Bitcoin wallets, GoFundMe and PayPal to collect and raise blood money to support ISIS, not for needy families as they falsely claimed in their attempt to deceive law enforcement,” stated United States attorney Breon Peace.  

“I commend our prosecutors and the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force for piercing the veil of secrecy to identify the perpetrators of this scheme, reveal the true evil nature of these virtual money transfers, and bring to justice those who seek to enable acts of violent extremism.”

Hashimi and Yousuf were said to be members of a group chat on an encrypted messaging service that facilitated communication between and among supporters of ISIS and other groups that adhered to similar violent jihadist ideologies.

In early April 2021, members of the chat were said to have discussed posting donation links that purported to be for humanitarian causes but were in fact intended to help the ‘mujahideen’, an Arabic term that translates to ‘holy warriors’ used by ISIS supporters to refer to its fighters.

Yousuf is said to have provided a link to a specific Bitcoin address and another member of the chat posted a link to a PayPal campaign, both of which were controlled by an unnamed individual. 

This individual was asked for proof that the money being donated was going to support ISIS and they sent back screenshots and a video depicting tactical gear, ammunition and grenades on top of an ISIS flag (below).


The individual also told the confidential source that the charitable descriptions in the fundraising campaigns were in fact a “deception for the infidels” and the “words that are in the link are fake in order to deceive”.

Between February 2021 and July 2022, the defendants raised and contributed more than $35,000 to this individual via a combination of cryptocurrency and other sources, it is alleged. 

Hashimi is also alleged to have made statements suggesting a desire to die in combat or in a terrorist attack on behalf of a foreign terrorist organisation, among them: “I have made up my mind I want to make Hijra to Afghanistan. To join dawla.”

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