Federal prosecutors have accused Mohamed Elshinawy, who lives outside of Baltimore, of taking $8,700 from ISIS and pledging allegiance to the terrorist group. Elshinawy, born in Egypt, does not deny taking money from ISIS, but argues that he was in fact being super patriotic by just trying to “scam some money” from the hated extremists. The criminal complaint notes that “he claimed he saw an opportunity to make money and take it from ‘thieves,’ and felt that the FBI should reward him for what he had done” — maybe with a “job to work with the FBI to identify ISIL’s money network.”
The FBI found no proof that Elshinawy was planning a specific attack, but agents are alarmed by how much he communicated online with overseas extremists — and the fact that ISIS is sending thousands of dollars to people in the U.S. in the hope of radicalizing them. More than 75 people in the U.S. have been accused of having connections with ISIS by the federal government, per the New York Times.