A Virginia man suspected of funding female members of The Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria has been arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents.
Virginia man arrested on alleged ties to ISIS https://t.co/7Cc5AInGsy #OAN
— One America News (@OANN) May 9, 2023
Mohammed Azharuddin Chhipa, 33, originally from India, was surprised to see FBI agents raiding his home. He was arrested for providing and attempting to provide support to ISIS in the form of digital currency payments.
While the FBI and Fairfax County police blocked off Kingsford Road in Springfield, Virginia, a neighbor who saw the event filmed Chhipa’s arrest on their cell phone.
“Wow, I never thought the situation would happen next door to me,” the neighbor told Fox 5. “I’m happy the FBI was here, and they did their job correctly and stopped terrorism from gaining more assets.”
In August 2021, questions began to surround Chhipa’s suspected connections to ISIS, but in January 2022, such investigations ended.
Financial data showed that from 2019-2022, Chhipa spent more than $170,000 on digital currency transactions while receiving $15,000 in digital currency from other individuals.
The data showed that more than $18,000 was transferred to wallets used by ISIS women detained in a Syrian refugee camp. Additional money was sent to other accounts that were also allegedly accessed by ISIS members.
The FBI reported that $61,000 was sent to several Bitcoin wallets in Turkey, while more than $60,000 is still missing. The agency said the virtual money was converted to cash and secretly transferred to the alleged receivers.
During the FBI’s investigation, it was discovered that Chhipa’s social media profiles, books, videos, and browser histories all demonstrated an ideological association with ISIS. His browser searches showed an appreciation for topics regarding pro-violence propaganda and radical Jihadism ideology, according to court documents.
The documents unveiled conversations Chhipa had online with an alleged ISIS member and further ones he had with undercover FBI agents regarding how to send the funds and to whom he chooses to send them.
The documents also pointed to an undercover agent’s conversation with Chhipa concerning whether it was “OK” that women used his money to escape the Syrian refugee camp and whether they would seek to rejoin ISIS once they were free.
“If they are free again… where else would they go,” Chhipa responded.
If convicted, Chhipa may spend up to 20 years in prison.