(February 22, 2018 / JNS) Terrorist groups are beginning to take advantage of the anonymity of cryptocurrency to raise funds to carry out attacks, a report in The Wall Street Journal uncovered.
According to the report, terror organizations such as the north Syrian al-Sadaqah military group used Twitter to encourage supporters to “donate anonymously with cryptocurrency,” followed by a Bitcoin address.
The group allegedly received $1,000 in the campaign, which included a video showing a dirt floor covered in blankets, pita bread and hand grenades.
Cryptocurrencies use a digital ledger called a blockchain to trade without relying on banks and exchanges, and therefore are not subject to legislation applied to those institutions.
In January, U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) introduced a bill to establish a financial-technology task force to stop terrorists from using cryptocurrency, which can circumvent anti-terror regulations instituted by banks because the transfers are not traceable.
Moreover, terror groups online can hide behind fake profiles and use available technology to conceal themselves from authorities.
The report also detailed how in 2015, Virgina teenager Ali Shukri Amin was sentenced to 11 years in prison for explaining on Twitter how to send Bitcoin to the Islamic State.
Additionally, in December 2017, New York lab technician Zoobia Shahnaz was charged with defrauding companies of $85,000 and transferring the money in Bitcoin to Islamic State-linked individuals and companies.