Bitcoin fundraising intensifies among Palestinian Hamas, Iran-affiliated militants
The adoption and recognition of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have seen an exponential increase over the last few years among individuals, as well as among mainstream financial institutions. However, with such impressive growth, Bitcoin has also come to be used by noted terror outfits around the world.
According to reports, illicit Bitcoin funding activities have intensified between the de-facto ruler of Gaza, noted terror-outfit Hamas, and the Iran-affiliated al-Nasr Brigades.
The Jerusalem Post reported that according to the IDC’s International Institute for Counter-Terrorism [ICT], there has been “an irregular increase in the scope of activity” in the last four years involving more than 4,500 transactions. This was found while monitoring a Bitcoin wallet address of 1LaNXgq2ctDEa4fTha6PTo8sucqzieQctq. A deeper review “showed that the same address served a seemingly legitimate financial website by the name of cash4ps.” This seems to be facilitating the transfer and receipt of funds among terror outfits in the Gaza Strip.
Furthermore, the company associated with the aforementioned Bitcoin address “has been identified as operating an account in a banned bank.” The Bitcoin Abuse Database, a website for tracking Bitcoin addresses used by ransomware and other fraudulent activities, has also flagged the wallet as a fundraising wallet for the Hamas. The address’s description on the website reads,
“This address is being used for collecting donations to a terror organization”
Another entity that has been linked with the entire episode is the Islamic National Bank, a bank that was designated by the U.S as a terrorist entity over its connections to Hamas.
It seems like since this militant group has been unable to use traditional financial systems to raise money after being designated as a “terror outfit” by multiple Western countries, Hamas has turned to Bitcoin for fundraising purposes.