A lady has been accused by prosecutors in New York of using cryptocurrencies to support terrorist organizations in Syria.
Victoria Jacobs, aka Bakhrom Talipov, 43, was charged with soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the first degree, which is a crime of terrorism, money laundering, and other offenses, according to Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg and NYPD chief Keechant L. Sewell.
The Manhattan District Attorney's Office's Counter Terrorism Program, which was established in June 2015 to identify and pursue investigative leads related to domestic terror plots, extremist activities, and terror financing, conducted a year-and-a-half-long investigation that resulted in the indictment.
According to District Attorney Bragg, "this case marks the first time that terrorism financing is being prosecuted in New York State Court and is one of the rare cases worldwide where cryptocurrency is alleged to have financed terrorism."
"This complex case demonstrates the depth of knowledge and resources this Office has to combat terrorism and extremism in New York and throughout the globe. I thank our partners at the NYPD for their continued partnership to root out terror threats in any form they take."
According to NYPD Commissioner Sewell, "International terrorism remains a grave threat to safety and freedom around the world."
"Our department remains vigilant, and this indictment reinforces the NYPD’s unwavering commitment to bringing terrorists and all those who support them to justice. I want to thank the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, our NYPD investigators, and everyone else who worked on this critical, wide-ranging case," she said.
The indictment and other court documents allege that while residing in New York City between September 2018 and June 2019, JACOBS sent financial support to Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, a group that the U.S. State Department has classified as a foreign terrorist organization. JACOBS is accused of giving more than $5,000 to the terrorist organization "Malhama Tactical," which fought alongside and trained Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham in particular military and tactical skills.
Additionally, Jacobs is accused of laundering $10,661 for Mahalma Tactical by accepting cryptocurrency and wire transfers via Western Union and MoneyGram from supporters around the world and transferring the money to Bitcoin wallets under Mahalma Tactical's control. She not only sent the charity cryptocurrency but also Google Play gift cards.
In order to aid their bomb-making efforts in Syria, JACOBS gave a thorough copy of the U.S. Army Improvised Munitions Handbook to an online organization she believed to be connected to both Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham and the al-Qaeda related Jihadist group Hurras al-Din in December 2019.
After posting in internet forums claiming she was a "brother" trapped "behind enemy lines" and requesting prayers for the "courage, strength, guidance, and wisdom to carry out certain missions," Jacobs bought military-style combat knives, metal knuckles, and throwing stars in August 2021.
Prior Anti-Terror Prosecutions
In accordance with New York State's anti-terror statutes, which were passed in the wake of the September 11 attacks, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office has successfully prosecuted terrorists.
The trial of radical cleric Shaikh Abdullah Faisal ended with an all-count conviction on Thursday.
Jose Pimentel received a 16-year prison term in March 2014 for making improvised explosive devices that were intended to detonate in Manhattan.
In a different case, Ahmed Ferhani was found guilty of charges relating to terrorism and given a 10-year prison term in March 2013.
Assistant District Attorneys David Stuart (Counter Terrorism Program Coordinator) and Edward Burns (Senior Investigative Counsel) are handling the prosecution of the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Michael Ohm (Deputy Bureau Chief of the Rackets Bureau), Judy Salwen (Principal Deputy Chief of the Rackets Bureau), Jodie Kane (Chief of the Rackets Bureau) and Executive Assistant District Attorneys Christopher Conroy (Senior Advisor to the Investigation Division) and Susan Hoffinger (Chief of the Investigation Division), and Ryan Rittenberg (Director of Intelligence and Analysis of Counter Terrorism), Catherine Schreck (Senior Counter Terrorism Analyst), Christine McNeill (Counter Terrorism Analyst), and Supervising Computer Forensic Analyst Douglas Daus, under the supervision of Steven Moran, Director of the High Tech Analysis Unit.
In particular, investigators Sergeant Driton Gashi, Detective Atif Siddiqui, Intelligence Research Specialist Raphael Marcus, and Intelligence Research Specialist Daniel Heesemann; Detective Andrew Eaton of the NYPD's Bomb Squad; and Police Officer Yulia Yakovleva were thanked by District Attorney Bragg.
BAKHROM TALIPOV aka VICTORIA JACOBS
Soliciting or Providing Support for an Act of Terrorism in the First Degree as a Crime of Terrorism, a class B violent felony, one count
Soliciting or Providing Support for an Act of Terrorism in the First Degree, a class C violent felony, one count
Soliciting or Providing Support for an Act of Terrorism in the Second Degree, a class D violent felony, one count
Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree as a Crime of Terrorism, a class D violent felony, one count
Money Laundering in Support of Terrorism in the Third Degree, a class D felony, one count
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, a class D felony, six counts
By fLEXI tEAM