The United States Department of Justice has dismantled three cryptocurrency financing campaigns targeting terrorist groups. His recipients, according to the US government, were organizations such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda and al-Qassam, the military arm of Hamas.
The US justice claims to have stopped three attempts to finance terrorist groups through donations with cryptocurrencies
In addition to the three financing campaigns, 300 virtual wallets, four web pages and four Facebook pages linked to the financing campaigns have also been intervened. Although the exact figure of the money intervened has not transpired, the United States Department of Justice affirms in its statement that they have made millions of dollars destined for these organizations.
The campaigns are the most varied. Al-Qassam requested donations in Bitcoin through its web pages, with a video tutorial on how to deposit Bitcoins using anonymous addresses. Al-Qaeda, for its part, used Telegram channels as the main tool to request Bitcoins from its supporters. It is not the first time that Telegram has been used to finance terrorist groups with cryptocurrencies.
In the case of ISIS, the terrorist organization had taken advantage of the pandemic for one of its collaborators, named Murak Cakar, to launder money through a page called Facemaskcenter.com. This website apparently sold different protection material against the coronavirus , including masks with an N95 filter.
Without a doubt, terrorist and criminal organizations have adapted to the digital world, and the apparent anonymity of many cryptocurrencies has caused these assets to be viewed with very good eyes when it comes to obtaining funds. This, added to messaging apps such as Telegram, which have a good encryption system and do not need identification, has created a safe-conduct for this type of operation.