It’s not clear how close Elshinawy came to an attack, though FBI officials said they believed the threat of violence was real.
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It was July 2015 when the FBI, scrambling to contain a surge in Daesh (ISIS) propaganda, first visited an Egyptian-American newspaper deliveryman in Maryland.It also had a chilling twist: Officials say that among the roughly 150 Daesh-linked cases U.S. authorities have brought since 2014, this is the only prosecution they're aware of in which money was transmitted from Daesh operatives abroad to someone in the U.S.Officials believe extremists exploited a personal connection: A childhood friend of Elshinawy's from Egypt who joined Daesh in Syria communicated with him on social media and encouraged him to pledge allegiance to the group.After several hours, he admitted under pressure to receiving the money from Daesh but said he was scamming the group because he never intended to commit violence, officials said. He said that his cleverness should be rewarded and that he should be hired by the FBI to help untangle the Daesh money network, officials said.
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