US ‘foils’ militant cryptocurrency fundraising

An IS militant waved a flag in Raqqa, Syria, in 2014

Copyright of the image
Reuters

Image caption

Despite its territorial losses, IS has used cryptocurrencies to raise funds

The US government claims it has thwarted attempts by militant groups to raise funds using digital currency or cryptocurrency.

The campaigns involved the Hamas military wing, al-Qassam brigades, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) group.

US officials said around $ 2 million (£ 1.5 million) in cryptocurrency was recovered.

Hundreds of cryptocurrency accounts, four websites and four Facebook accounts were also seized, the Justice Department announced in a statement.

  • The Islamic State is still the UK’s “most significant” threat
  • IS prisoner throws a time bomb to the West

“These actions represent the largest ever government seizure of cryptocurrency in the context of terrorism,” the department said.

How did the groups get paid?

According to the Justice Department, the al-Qassam Brigades have used social media and its official websites to solicit bitcoin donations.

He said government agents took control of a website to redirect payments to the group, which is the armed wing of the Palestinian militant Islamist organization Hamas. Search warrants were issued against US-based individuals who donated.

Syria-based al-Qaeda militants, meanwhile, have sought donations to purchase weapons via the Telegram messaging app.

The Justice Department said the IS used a website and Facebook pages to sell fake COVID-19 personal protective equipment to raise money.

“Nothing was hidden,” an unnamed US official told Reuters news agency, adding that militant groups “thought they were protected” by encryption in the apps they used.

Media playback is not supported on the device

Multimedia captionBitcoin Explained: How Do Cryptocurrencies Work?

Check Also

Skin Tone, Heart Rate Sensors, and a Push for Accuracy

Ever since wearables equipped with heart rate tech began entering the mainstream, there have been …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.