US & Canada

Islamic State funded Maryland man to attack US, says FBI

A file image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on 23 August 2013 shows a member of the so-called Islamic State Image copyright AFP

The FBI has arrested a Maryland man who they say received about $9,000 (£6,000) from the so-called Islamic State group (IS) to carry out an attack in the US.

Mohamed Elshinawy, 30, is being held on a number of charges including trying to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation.

Mr Elshinawy pledged allegiance to IS online in February, the FBI said.

He told agents that he never intended to carry out an attack and just wanted IS agents to send him money.

The FBI said Mr Elshinawy used disposable mobile phones and multiple email and social media accounts to communicate with IS contacts.

He received the money through a PayPal account and a Western Union wire transfer, the FBI said.

Those overseas financial transfers attracted the attention of authorities in June.

Planning terror attack

"Elshinawy stated that he was instructed to use the monies he received from the unidentified ISIL operative for 'operational purposes,' which Elshinawy understood to mean causing destruction or conducting a terrorist attack in the United States," according to an FBI affidavit.

In the past year, more 70 people in the US have been charged with working with IS militants.

Authorities are on heightened alert this month after a California couple, who had pledged allegiance to IS, carried out the deadliest terrorist attack since the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik and shot and killed 14 people on 2 December during a holiday party in San Bernardino.