Women walk at the Kurdish-run al-Hol camp which holds suspected relatives of Islamic State (IS) group fighters, in Hasakeh governorate of northeastern Syria, on March 3, 2021. – At least 31 killings have rocked al-Hol camp since early January, a Kurdish official said today, with aid groups warning of a “nightmare”. It was the latest evidence of deteriorating security at the camp in the Kurdish-run northeast, where Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) had to temporarily suspend operations this week after the killing of one of its team members. (Photo by DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
OAN Geraldyn Berry
2:28 PM – Tuesday, May 9, 2023
A Virginia man who is suspected of providing monetary support to female members of ISIS in Syria has been arrested by FBI agents.
Mohammed Azharuddin Chhipa, a 33-year old man originally from India, was startled to find his home being raided by federal agents. He was arrested for providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS in the form of digital currency payments.
As FBI and Fairfax County police had blocked off Kingsford Road in Springfield, Virginia, a neighbor who had witnessed the event filmed the arrest on their cell phone.
The inquiry into Chhipa’s suspected ties to ISIS reportedly began in August 2021 and ended in January 2022.
Financial data had showed that between November 2019 and July 2022, Chhipa had spent more than $172,000 on virtual currency purchases, also receiving an extra $15,000 in virtual currency from other individuals, according to the court filings.
During a review of the data, it showed that more than $18,000 of the cash was transferred to wallets used by ISIS women detained in a Syrian refugee camp. More money had been sent to other accounts that were also allegedly accessed by ISIS members.
According to the FBI, $61,000 was sent to a handful of Bitcoin wallets in Turkey, and more than $60,000 is still missing. However, it was reported that the virtual money had been changed back to cash and covertly transferred to the designated receivers, according to search warrant data.
In the course of its investigation, the agency also discovered that Chhipa’s social media profiles, books, videos, and search histories all displayed an ideological kinship with ISIS. His internet blueprint showed an appreciation for topics regarding Jihad, pro-violence propaganda, and radical Islamic ideology.
Chhipa may spend up to 20 years behind bars if found guilty of the charges.
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