Muslima used bitcoin to move cash to Islamic State, New York police say

A New York woman has been accused of laundering bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and wiring the money to help the so-called Islamic State.

Zoobia Shahnaz, 27, was charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering and is being held without bail.

Ms Shahnaz was born in Pakistan and worked as a lab technician in the US.

Prosecutors say she took out fraudulent loans of $85,000 (£63,000) in order to buy the bitcoin online.

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  • Clausewitz

    Why do I get the feeling the whole concept of Bitcoins was invented by Terrorists and the Drug Cartels. I guess the Tulip bulbs just weren’t cutting it anymore.

    • BillyHW

      When it crashes Justine will bail them out.

    • Watchman

      I’m not against these alternative fiat currencies, as they are like almost every other currency in the world and have value only because people think they have value. The difference is that most countries keep printing money to pay for things and slowly and steadily devalue any money you have saved up. By borrowing money to make a debt that, if it ever paid back it will be our grandchildren paying it back, is not backed up with real goods like gold, silver, or platinum and thus can be devalued like a Zimbabwean dollar.

      I agree though that Bitcoin is like the Tulip bulb bubble worth only what it is because people expect to continue rising in price. One day it won’t, and those who sold out at its peak will be richer and everyone else will be unhappy.

      No different from many art works, either, who have value because people think they have monetary value. Especially post-modern art.

    • clownloach

      White collar terrorists in $5000.00 suits perhaps.

  • BillyHW

    I wonder how many stock bitcoin photos exist out there.

  • It’s the digital equivalent of paying in cash — no paper trail. From what I can see it’s good for one-time payments that you want to keep anonymous — not a good idea to have a lot of bitcoin on hand because it can fluctuate so much in value. Not always connected to criminal enterprise because a number of legitimate businesses are accepting payment in bitcoin, and the number is growing. The purpose is anonymity, for whatever reason — legitimate or otherwise. Which is basically the same way cash functions.

    But a bit of a headache — you have to do your research and find a trustworthy dealer, get a digital “wallet” to keep it in, etc. Unless you have a reason for it, doesn’t make sense to have bitcoin just for the sake of “having” it. Unless you want to trade in bitcoin yourself, and you don’t mind gambling. Btw, there are other crypto-currencies besides bitcoin, not as successful or well-known though.

  • Drunk by Noon ✓

    I’m such an idiot.
    I remember the very early days of Bitcoin and thinking that is was some nation state’s very large cryptography experiment and that we were all burning wild amounts of electricity for pennies on the dollar.
    Bitcoins were worth less than a dollar at the time. I’m thinking between .25 and .45 cents each.
    I should have just stopped thinking so much and started mining and buying them back in 2009-2010.
    I feel bad for the people that were buying pizzas with them at 5,000 a pizza.
    That would be a 90,000,000.00 Pizza.

    • I wish I knew more about how it works because it still might be a good investment. There’s a ceiling on the number of bitcoins — in other words they can’t “print-up” more of them like regular money, the latter of which devalues cash money. Seems to stand to reason that it means bitcoin can never go down in value — when there’s inevitable shortage each bitcoin can only go up in value, so the limited number can be more widely distributed.

      • Watchman

        Until it does go down, as it has no inherent value and relies on its status as a fiat currency and an anonymous method of payment (for which there will always be a demand).

    • Watchman

      A story to tell your grandchildren about how you once paid $90 million for a pizza, and have them scoff at you as they remind you that due to hyperinflation a pizza now costs $120 million.

      I have a couple of Zimbabwean $100 trillion notes if you think it could never happen.

  • Hard Little Machine

    That is some of the worst reporting I’ve seen in a while. Why was she arrested. Were they tracking her for some reason. What did they know when they arrested her. Why was the bank suspicious. Bitcoin is still untraceable so how they know. etc etc.