FBI says Harford Co. man accepts money from ISIL

Posted at 5:56 PM, Dec 15, 2015

An American flag flies a few doors down from where the FBI says an Edgewood man connected with ISIL and accepted money to plan terrorist attacks.

"I've never been introduced to that person," said Sheikh Omar Baloch, Harford Education Society. 

Baloch is the leader of a learning center and a mosque in Abingdon.  He sees around 500 people throughout the year, but not Mohamed Elshinawy.

"People that are radical will not come to the mosque because they will not agree with what we are teaching," said Elshinawy.

Elshinawy lives on McCann St. in Edgewood with his wife, according to a federal affidavit.  Court papers say he connected with a childhood friend who moved from Egypt to Syria, and that friend put him in touch with a member of ISIL who gave over $8,000 for "operational purposes" to conduct a terrorist attack.

Through interviews, he told the FBI his efforts should be applauded for taking money away from terrorists.  But documents say he pledged allegiance to ISIL.  One neighbor thinks the story doesn't fit.

"Very nice guy.  He was like a friend to me, next door neighbor," said Alonzo Sibert          

We don't know if Elshinawy was part of the Muslim community.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says he lied to the FBI when he was first confronted, and he tried to hide his support.

At this point, he is detained and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 28th

"I kind of thank God that the cops did what they did because he could have been here the whole time. I'm not accusing him of planning anything but he could have been here the whole time and anything could have happened," said Chase King.