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US woman pleads guilty to bitcoin ploy aiding Islamic State

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — A Pakistani-born New York woman has acknowledged her role in defrauding numerous financial institutions in a bitcoin scheme to help the Islamic State group.

Prosecutors say Zoobia Shahnaz, a naturalized U.S. citizen living on Long Island, pleaded guilty in federal court in Central Islip Monday to providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

The 27-year-old Shahnaz was charged with laundering bitcoin and wiring money to the Islamic State group. After quitting her job, she was stopped at Kennedy Airport last year attempting to fly to Pakistan.

Shahnaz’s lawyer has said she was trying to help Syrian refugees.

She faces up to 20 years in prison.

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