nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Elshinawy (D. Maryland Aug. 15, 2017) (guilty plea in Islamic State material support case)

August 16, 2017

Press release below, and indictment attached:

WASHINGTON – Mohamed Elshinawy, 32, of Edgewood, Md., pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization; providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS terrorism financing; and making false statements in connection with a terrorism matter.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, Acting U.S. Attorney of the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning and Special Agent in Charge Gordon Johnson of the FBI’s Baltimore Office.

According to the plea agreement, Elshinawy conspired with others to knowingly provide material support and resources to ISIS, knowing that ISIS was a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. From February 2015 through about Dec. 11, 2015, in Maryland and elsewhere, Elshinawy conspired with others to provide material support and resources, including personnel, services (including means and methods of communication), and financial services, to ISIS. Elshinawy and his co-conspirators utilized various methods of secret communication in order to conceal their criminal association and activities from law enforcement.

As a part of the conspiracy, Elshinawy expressed his support for an Islamic caliphate and his belief in the legitimacy of ISIS. In addition, he expressed his hope that ISIS would be victorious and its enemies defeated, and discussed his readiness to travel to live in the Islamic State. In various other conversations, Elshinawy pledged his allegiance to ISIS, described himself as its soldier, committed to making violent jihad, and asked that others convey his message of loyalty to ISIS leadership.

Elshinawy also received payments from a foreign company totaling $8,700 to be used to fund a terrorist attack in the U.S.

In an interview with FBI agents on July 17, 2015, in an effort to conceal and minimize his criminal involvement with ISIS, Elshinawy provided false information regarding the total amount of money he had received from ISIS operatives and claimed his intent was to defraud ISIS of funds. Throughout his interviews, Elshinawy mischaracterized the true nature and extent of his association with ISIS operatives and the support he had provided to ISIS.

The maximum sentence for conspiracy to provide and for providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization is 20 years in prison; the maximum sentence for collection of terrorism financing is 20 years in prison; and the maximum sentence for making false statements in a terrorism matter is eight years in prison. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. Elshinawy’s sentence will be determined by the court after considering the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Elshinawy has been detained since his arrest on Dec. 11, 2015, on related charges.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente and Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine Manuelian and Kenneth Clark and the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case.

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Indictment – Elshinawy.pdf

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