Report: Hamas Terror Group Used Bitcoin As A Funding Source For Terrorism

The International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), reports Hamas using Bitcoin as one of its sources of funding terrorism in the West Bank.

On Jan. 20, 2020 a report titled ‘Identifying Money Transfers and Terror Finance Infrastructure’, was published by ICT, as a part of the Israeli college IDC Herzliya.

The report authored by Dr. Eitan Azani, Dr. Michael Barak, Edan Landau, and Nadine Liv, and co-authored by Cobwebs Tech goes on to link a Bitcoin address with high transaction volumes, a website including a webmaster with ties to Hamas, and social media pages all pointing to the Palestinian militant group.

Sanctions Imposed On Iran Are Affecting Amount Of Money Sent To Its Proxies Around The Middle East

An anonymous spokesperson from ICT stated that this is the first round of several investigations and that the findings should be taken “with a grain of salt,” as the investigation only uncovered the top layer of the operation with only two specific players. The spokesperson further added that the sanctions imposed on Iran are affecting the amount of money sent to its proxies around the Middle East.

The report suspects of using the specific BTC wallets for several uses such as:

  1. Collecting donations for the PRC as advertised on “Madad” campaign

  2. “Legal” financial services as advertised on the cash4ps website

  3. The transfer of funds to and from Gaza by the PRC and Hamas for activities inside and outside of the Gaza strip

The spokesperson further added:

At the moment, the lack of an internationally agreed set of regulations enable the anonymity so much desired by terrorists in BTC. However, this is only one method available and is probably used more to finance their illegal activities, such as acquiring cyber-attack tools. We still see larger use of methods such as proceeds from drug and weapons trade, money laundering activities, collection of donations from place of worship and businesses.

The report findings were made on the basis of public information including bitcoin addresses as well as social media sites. The speculations on using the wallet both for financing terror and as a financial services provider in Gaza were made on the basis of the high volume of transactions (45,000) and the number of Bitcoins (3,370).

Source: Forbes.com

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