November 25, 2020

US charges NJ resident with terrorist financing offense

On November 25, 2020, the US Department of Justice announced the arrest of a New Jersey woman, Maria Bell, on charges of concealing the financing of a designated foreign terrorist organization, in violation of 18 USC §2339C(c)(2)(A).  The criminal complaint alleges that Bell, a US citizen, sent money and used mobile encrypted applications and social media platforms to communicate with and provide advice to members of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, an organization that was included in 2018 in the designation of al-Nusra Front (or Jabhat al-Nusra), which was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and Specially Designated Global Terrorist in December 2012.  According to the US Department of State, Hay’at Tahrir operates in the Idlib province of northwest Syria as an affiliate of Al-Qaeda in the pursuit of global jihad.  If convicted, Bell could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

 DOJ press release | Criminal Complaint