U.S. sanctions 3 for supporting ISIS with cybersecurity expertise, money transfers | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

U.S. sanctions 3 for supporting ISIS with cybersecurity expertise, money transfers

by Darryl Coote

Washington DC (UPI) Jan 31, 2024

The Biden administration has sanctioned three alleged supporters of the Islamic State, including two accused of providing the terrorist organization with cybersecurity expertise.

The sanctions were announced Tuesday by the U.S. Treasury and State Department against Egyptian nationals Mu’min Al-Mawji Mahmud Salim, 32, and Sarah Jamal Muhammad Al-Sayyid, 38, as well as Turkish citizen Faruk Guzel, 55.

“Our actions today target the terrorist group’s facilitation activities online — including the group’s use of virtual currency, recruitment and promotion of its terrorist ideology — as well as ISIS’ transfers of funds to its supporters,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

“Together with our international partners, the United States is committed to countering ISIS and those who provide logistical, technical or financial support to terrorist groups.”

Mahmud Salim created the ISIS-affiliated Electronic Horizons Foundation platform with the support of Al-Sayyid, his fiancee, according to the FBI, which has included the pair on its most wanted list. The federal agency has offered rewards of up to $20,000 for information that leads to either of their locations.

The Treasury said EHF provides cybersecurity guidance and training to ISIS supporters trying to evade law enforcement scrutiny online.

Mahmud Salim has also been accused of proving ISIS leadership with technical support and shared cryptocurrency expertise with supporters as well as created an ISIS media outlet to distribute propaganda in the West.

Treasury officials added that Al-Sayyid has also recruited ISIS members to the EHF platform.

Guzel was also hit with sanctions over accusations of receiving money transfers from ISIS supports that he distributed to associates of the terrorist organization in Syria.

The sanctions freeze all U.S.-based assets of those blacklisted and bar all U.S. persons from doing business with them.

“Today’s actions disrupt ISIS’s ability to move funds, including through the use of cryptocurrency, and leverage its online presence to recruit and promote its terrorist ideology,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement.

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