Feds announce seizure of cryptocurrency connected to terrorism

Friday 14 August 2020 09:51 CET | News

Federal law enforcement officials have conducted a seizure which is said to be one of the largest seizure of cryptocurrency connected to terrorism.

Prosecutors unsealed three civil forfeiture complaints and a criminal complaint in federal court in Washington. The forfeiture complaints involve the Al-Qassam Brigades, known as the military wing of Hamas, in addition to al-Qaeda and ISIS. The US also indicted two Turkish nationals on charges of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Authorities have now seized millions of dollars across 300 cryptocurrency accounts, four websites, and four Facebook pages connected to these groups.

More than 18 months ago, the al-Qassam Brigades invited supporters through a website to donate to their cause via Bitcoin. Therefore, with approval from a judge, federal law enforcement seized control of the al-Qassam Brigades' site for a time, diverting donations from a site intended to fund terrorism and sending them instead to Bitcoin accounts controlled by the US government.

A second campaign involved a Syria-based group that sought to accept Bitcoin donations to fund terrorists in the region. Federal law enforcement agencies partnered with the digital forensics company Chainalysis to conduct blockchain analysis as a way to identify how and where various Bitcoin moved around.

The third case links Murat Cakar, another Turkish national who the government described as an ‘ISIS facilitator who is responsible for managing select ISIS hacking operations’, to a COVID-19 fraud. According to the criminal complaint, Cakar operated a website called FaceMaskCenter, which purported to sell N95 face masks that had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, when in fact they had not.

More: Link

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

Keywords: cryptocurrency, terrorism, federal law, Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas, al-Qaeda, ISIS, US, Facebook, Bitcoin, Syria, digital, Chainalusis, blockchain, COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic
Categories: Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies | Cryptocurrencies
Countries: United States
This article is part of category

Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies