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ISIS Allegedly Ran a Covid-19 PPE Scam Site

The Covid-19 pandemic, and tens of millions of people desperate for scarce protecting machines like masks and Tyvek fits, has introduced a bonanza for scammers. Now, in accordance to the US Department of Justice, it appears to be that even ISIS has gotten in on the video game.

In a series of civil and prison complaints and forfeiture notices launched these days, the Justice Department has exposed that it seized hundreds of bitcoin and ethereum accounts, tens of millions of pounds, and 4 web sites from identified Islamic extremist groups that were being employing all those accounts and funds to support terrorist operations. Prosecutors say the forfeited crypto belongings from the groups, which involve ISIS, the al-Qassam Brigades, and al Qaeda, stand for “the government’s premier-ever seizure of cryptocurrency in the terrorism context.” The cryptocurrency haul alone totals extra than $1 million in accordance to Chainalysis, a blockchain-centered agency whose instruments were being applied in the investigation.

Between the jihadist fundraising efforts the DOJ has nixed, however, a single stands out as particularly brazen. Courtroom paperwork depth how an ISIS agent allegedly ran a rip-off site for Covid-19 private protecting machines, or PPE, identified as FaceMaskCenter.com.

ISIS’ participation in the Covid-19 PPE rip-off industry is just element of a wave of fraud that has flooded the world wide web due to the fact the Covid-19 pandemic started, suggests Mark Turnage, chief government of DarkOwl, a protection agency which is tracked Covid-19 scams on-line for months. “We’ve noticed a substantial volume of illegitimate products like PPE getting offered and hardly ever delivered,” Turnage suggests. “The simple fact that ISIS made the decision to get into this organization far too is not seriously astonishing. Everyone’s a capitalist. They are leveraging the pandemic far too.”

Screenshot: Department of Justice

According to a single civil criticism, a private source linked an ISIS “facilitator” who applied the alias Murat Cakar with the operation of FaceMaskCenter.com, as effectively as 4 Fb accounts that marketed the site. Cakar is believed to be dependable for managing multiple ISIS hacking operations the criticism alleges that he received $100,000 from Zoobia Shahnaz, an American girl who experienced prepared to vacation to Syria to join ISIS, and who pleaded responsible to substance support of terrorism in 2018 just after laundering ISIS funds with bitcoin.

FaceMaskCenter.com claimed to supply Fda-authorised N95 experience masks, as effectively as a large range of other PPE, together with Tyvek fits, gloves, goggles, and thermometers. “FaceMaskCenter is the first on-line private protecting machines supplier and was the initially of its kind,” read the site, which now reveals only a seizure observe from the DOJ, US Treasury, and Department of Homeland Safety.