The self-proclaimed Islamic State or ISIS used bogus eBay deals to funnel money to an operative in the US, according to a report on Thursday.
Mohamed Elshinawy, a US citizen, was arrested in Maryland more than a year ago following a detailed FBI investigation, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a 2016 indictment.
Elshinawy, said to be aged around 30, is accused of pretending to sell computer printers on eBay to get ISIS payments through PayPal. He was part of a global network that operated from the UK to Bangladesh and was run by Siful Sujan - a senior ISIS leader who was killed in a 2015 air strike, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit.
Elshinawy received a total of $8,700 from individuals associated with ISIS through PayPal, after he pretended to sell them computer printers on eBay, according to the 2016 indictment.
He told investigators he was to use the money for "operational purposes" such as a terror attack.
Some of the cash was spent on a laptop, a cellphone, and software to set up a virtual private network that can mask a user's internet usage, which the FBI believed was so he could communicate with ISIS operatives overseas, the Journal reported.
Elshinawy admitted to investigators that he was told to use the funds for terror attacks in the US, although he never carried one out. He pleaded guilty to supporting the jihadist group and is awaiting trial. Other alleged operatives were arrested in Britain and Bangladesh, according to the affidavit.
An eBay spokesman told the New York Daily News that ''eBay has zero tolerance for criminal activity on our marketplace and we worked with law enforcement to bring this individual to justice''.
A PayPal spokeswoman told WSJ the company works ''to prevent terrorist activity on our platform'' and with law enforcement investigating suspicious activity.