A grand jury has indicted an Upper East Side woman accused of supporting violent terrorists based in Syria, prosecutors say, by collecting and laundering money for nefarious groups overseas, funneling them the funds using Bitcoin.
“This case marks the first time that terrorism financing is being prosecuted in New York State Court,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who noted this is “one of the rare cases worldwide where cryptocurrency is alleged to have financed terrorism.”
The indictment comes following a year-and-a-half-long investigation the NYPD Intelligence Bureau into Upper East Side resident 43-year-old Victoria Jacobs — who is also known as Bakhrom Talipov.
According to court documents, Jacobs is accused of providing material support to Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, a US State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization — giving more than $5,000 to Mahalma Tactical, a organization that provides tactical and military training to the terror group’s fighters — from September 2018 through June 2019.
ALSO READ | Pervert Planted Camera in Restroom at Popular UES Bagel Shop: NYPD
Jacobs also laundered more than $10,000 for the same terrorist training organization, receiving wire transfers from terror supporters around the world, then transferring the cash to Bitcoin wallets controlled by Mahalma Tactical, prosecutors allege.
“This complex case demonstrates the depth of knowledge and resources this Office has to combat terrorism and extremism in New York and throughout the globe,” explained DA Bragg, “I thank our partners at the NYPD for their continued partnership to root out terror threats in any form they take.”
In addition to the money-infusions, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office says back in 2019, Jacobs shared a comprehensive U.S. Army Improvised Munitions Handbook with groups online that she believed were associated with Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and another al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group, in hopes they would help terrorists make bombs in Syria.
Two years later, the Upper East Side woman began buying military-style combat knives, brass knuckles and throwing-stars, posting in online forums that she was “behind enemy lines,” and requested prayers from from sympathizers for “courage, strength, guidance, and wisdom to carry out certain missions,” court documents allege.
ALSO READ | UES Pickup Artist Headed to Prison for Arsenal Uncovered during Capitol Riot Search
“International terrorism remains a grave threat to safety and freedom around the world,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell.
“Our department remains vigilant, and this indictment reinforces the NYPD’s unwavering commitment to bringing terrorists and all those who support them to justice.
Jacobs had previously been sought by investigators in Southampton, Long Island, in connection with a rental scam in 2019 where police said she had rented a home to someone for more than $13,000, but didn’t actually own the home or have permission to rent the property.
Upper East Site reached out to Southampton Town Police regarding that case but did not immediately hear back.
Victoria Jacobs is being held without bail on the terror charges and is due back in court in April.
For updates around the clock, follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook