FBI arrests Indian-American man charged with funding ISIS in Hawl Camp

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Mohammad Azharuddin Chhipa, a 33-year-old Indian-American man living in the US state of Virginia, has been charged with wiring thousands of dollars to the Islamic State in Hawl camp, northeast Syria.

According to the FBI, more than $18,000 “went to wallets known to be used by ISIS women located in Syria.” At least another $60,000 remained unaccounted for. Between 2019 and 2022, Chhipa held $172,000 in virtual currency and collected $15,000 from donors.

The funds were meant for “sisters” in Hawl camp, Chhipa reportedly said.  

Hawl Camp, 45 km east of the city of Hasakah, is a house for 55.829 individuals, including 28.725 Iraqis, 18.850 Syrians and 8.254 of foreign nationalities, according to the latest statistics obtained by North Press.

The camp witnesses murders with different methods, most notably firearms. The management of the camp fears that the latest Turkish threats of invading areas in northern Syria would pave the way for ISIS to reorganize its ranks; North Press cited a statement by the management as saying.

Chhipa was apprehended after he met an undercover FBI agent in order to collect a donation. He made his initial appearance before a judge on May 5. If convicted Chhipa could face up to 20 years in prison for providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Reporting by Sasha Hoffman