CENTRAL ISLIP: A Pakistan-born New York woman has acknowledged her role in defrauding numerous financial institutions in a bitcoin scheme to help the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

Prosecutors say Zoobia Shahnaz, a naturalised US citizen living on Long Island, pleaded guilty in federal court in Central Islip on Monday to providing material support to a foreign terrorist organisation.

The 27-year-old Shahnaz was charged with laundering bitcoin and wiring money to the militant 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.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2018