The terrorist groups including Al-Qaeda and Hamas’s military wing have been using cryptocurrencies to take donations through their online fundraising activities, federal officials say.
Federal investigators have seized more than 300 cryptocurrency accounts for ferrying millions of dollars to terrorist groups including ISIS and Hamas’s military wing.
“These actions represent the government’s largest-ever seizure of cryptocurrency in the terrorism context,” the Justice Department said in today’s announcement.
Through court-authorized warrants, the US government managed to confiscate $2 million in virtual currencies, according to CNN. Allegedly, the terrorist groups were using cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin as a way to take donations through their online fundraising activities.
For instance, Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, began promoting their fundraising campaigns in early 2019 by using Twitter accounts and their own websites. Supporters were asked to send bitcoin to digital wallets, at least some of which were hosted by a US cryptocurrency exchange.
charges against both for running an unlicensed money transmitting business. The al-Qassam Brigades’s websites have also been taken down.
In the case of Al-Qaeda, the terrorist group also used the cryptocurrencies as a vehicle to take donations. The fundraising was promoted on the messaging app Telegram in addition to Twitter.