I'm living in the U.S. I've found a great coder (who happens to live in Iraq / Kurdistan) to do some programming work on a website of mine. He's a computer science student there. He hasn't done anything for me yet, and is waiting for instructions from me.

My concern is that if I pay him via PayPal or BitCoin (or some such), it will trigger a flag in some database (because it's a troubled region of the world filled with terrorism), and if some of that money finds its way into some terrorist network (via him, whether intentionally or not), I can get in trouble (providing material support to enemies / terrorists, or some such). To add to the potential complications, I'm a permanent resident of the U.S. who intends to apply for citizenship next year.

Should I just forget about dealing with this person and find someone else in a more peaceful part of the world? Or should I go ahead and give this person work. If the latter, then how should I pay him (PayPal, BitCoin, etc.) so that I can stay above reproach? Any and all advice appreciated.

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is not within the scope of what this site is for, as described in the Help Center. freelancing.stackexchange.com/help/behavior
    – Xavier J
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 15:08
  • I've forwarded your username to the proper officials. :)
    – Scott
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 17:51
  • Do you really have to pay him directly from you bank account? Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 7:56
  • @RuiFRibeiro What other ways are there? Bitcoin? That's always a possibility, but probably raises even more red flags. Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 8:55
  • Your family opening a firm on your home country for instance. Paypal wont work imo Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 8:59

1 Answer 1


First, kick the notion that people in a part of the world are all linked to terrorism, somehow. It's completely baseless, racist, and xenophobic.

You're getting legitimate business/services from a person in another part of the world. However you pay them is up to your business terms, and your contract (make sure you have a contract, especially if you are dealing with someone in another country).

However, something of note is that Iraq used to be subjected to complete and total trade sanctions by the US; this was lifted in 2003 and no longer applies, except for the arms embargo. Nothing is preventing you from hiring out Iraqi citizens for freelance work.

In short, continue on, business as usual. The fact that you'll be in frequent communication with a part of the world that is the target of various military/intelligence operations may mean that you have a small chance of being questioned, but that's why you have a contract for work, invoices, and a complete paper trail (the same as any other work).

  • Thanks for the answer Amelia. I totally 100% agree with you. Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 18:50
  • "kick the notion that people in a part of the world are all linked to terrorism": do the NSA bots back this ?
    – user4521
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 10:28

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