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ISIS Allies Use Crypto to Raise Funds

Liputan6.com, Jakarta – Terrorist groups around the world associated with the terrorist group ISIS routinely use cryptocurrencies for fundraising. Additionally, in some cases it helps secure backers, according to blockchain analytics firm TRM Labs in a recent report.

Launch Coindesk, written Sunday (23/7/2023), according to TRM, several pro-ISIS groups in Tajikistan raised around USD 2 million of Tron-based USDT during 2022. They have recruited fighters for ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan, Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISKP). The group uses an anonymous, centralized exchange to disburse funds, so TRM can track the money and notify the exchange.

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Exchanges, in turn, identify users and report them to local authorities. As a result, on June 22, senior ISIS fundraiser Shamil Hukumatov was arrested in Turkey.

Another pro-ISIS group raised more than USD 517,000 using accounts at an Indonesia-based exchange. The campaign aims to free ISIS members held in Syrian detention camps.

Interestingly, donations to those campaigns often come in sizable amounts, around USD 10,000 each. The ISIS affiliate in Pakistan has raised the more modest sum of USD 40,000 over the past 12 months, ostensibly helping victims of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria in February 2023.

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The Al-Azaim Foundation for Media Production, a pro-ISIS media organization in Afghanistan, also uses cryptocurrencies for fundraising purposes. TRM said it had identified a wallet controlled by the group that received USD 10,000.

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Crypto has been used by terrorists and insurgent groups around the world for the last few years. In 2021, global crypto exchange Binance reportedly froze accounts controlled by the militant wing of Hamas, which raised around USD 80,000 in one month.

Apparently, bitcoin’s traceability caused Hamas to abandon it as a fundraising method in 2023 for the safety of the group’s donors.

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ISIS Allies Use Crypto to Raise Funds

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