Maryland Man who Supported ISIS Plotted Major Attack, Feds Say

By Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News

A Maryland man who pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to provide material support to the ISIS terror network was planning to carry out bloodshed in the U.S., prosecutors revealed Monday.

Mohamed Elshinawy is tentatively scheduled to be sentenced March 9, but CBS Baltimore reported that prosecutors were trying to convince a judge to apply a federal terrorism enhancement to ensure a longer jail term.

According to the plea deal to which Elshinaway and prosecutors agreed, he pledged allegiance to ISIS and received $8,700 from people he believed were linked to the terror network.

(Learn More. Mohamed Elshinawy, 30, of Edgewood, is tentatively scheduled to be sentenced March 9 for providing material support to ISIS. Courtesy of WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore and YouTube. Posted on Dec 14, 2015)

Prosecutors said Elshinawy was in contact with ISIS leaders who gave him a choice between two plots.

One option, according to CBS Baltimore, was assassinating “a Texas businessman.”

The other option was detonating a bomb that would “kill a lot of people.”

Elshinawy apparently chose the second option, as prosecutors said he received videos from ISIS that included instructions on how to build a peroxide bomb.

Prosecutors also said that Elshinawy was researching federal buildings in Baltimore as possible targets.

Elshinawy’s lawyers have admitted that their client was contacted by ISIS, but claimed prosecutors had no evidence that a specific plan was in progress.

A judge is expected to rule Friday on whether the terrorism enhancement will be applied.

Elshinawy faces up to 20 years in prison.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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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.

Mohamed Elshinawy (Courtesy of Facebook)
Mohamed Elshinawy (Courtesy of Facebook)

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.
  • 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.

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Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente and Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen M. Schenning have commended the FBI for its work in the investigation.