The U.S. is targeting terrorist finance campaigns that are crypt-centered. A press release published on August 13 gave more details on the case. The U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Treasury dismantled the campaign. The finance campaign was run by the world's largest terror groups.
Finding and dismantling terrorist funding
Reports reveal that U.S. authorities successfully targeted multiple large terrorist organizations. Al-Qaeda, Al-Qassam and ISIS were all targeted. This operation marks a significant milestone in anti-terror law enforcement operations.
A news release published not long ago gave us more details on the operation. The successful operation resulted in the largest seizure of cryptocurrency from a terror circle in history. The news release also noted that the three terror finance campaigns depended on complex cyber-tools. The terrorists were receiving crypto donations from all around the globe.
Soon after the investigations, U.S. law enforcement issued judicially-authorized warrants. Using those warrants, millions of dollars were seized. Currency linked to over 300 digital-currency accounts, 3 online platforms and 4 social media accounts was seized.
The U.S. government reported on what's next for the crypto seized in the latest operation. The currency seized may be donated to the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund.
Al-Qassam Funding Campaign
The first complaint involved the Al-Qassam Brigades’ online crypto fundraising initiative. The criminal organization is reported to have called for Bitcoin donations in 2019 to enable its terror campaign.
Al-Qassam brigades later shifted their solicitation eforts to its websites. After trying to collect as much money as they can, U.S. authorities just seized the websites. (alqassam.ps, alqassam.net and qassam.ps)
In the end, the successful U.S. law enforcement operation managed to track and seize all their 150 crypto accounts.
Al-Qaeda Funding Campaign
The Al-Qaeda finance campaign is reported to have operated a robust Bitcoin network. A money laundering network that relied on Telegram channels and other sites was used. The terrorist group used this money laundering network to solicit large number of funds for their terror campaign.
Law enforcement operations exposed the terror organizations obstruction techniques. U.S. law enforcement agencies are now looking to seize roughly 150 crypto assets linked to Al-Qaeda.
ISIS Funding Campaign
The last complaint combined two large U.S. law enforcement goals. Tackling COVID-19 related crimes, and terrorist financing.
A plot by an ISIS facilitator Murar Cakar was exposed. Murat Cakar was charged with managing a number of cyberc-riminal operations for ISIS. This time, Cakar was trying to sell counterfeit COVID-19 related items though FaceMaskCenter.com. The domain of the site has been seized.
The online platform claimed to provide customers with FDA-approved face masks. In reality the masks shipped to customers were unapproved and many items on the site were sold illegally. The admins of the site promoted their trade by claiming they have unlimited stock. In the face of a global shortage of items, this made the site pick up traffic.
Pursuant to the operation by U.S. authorities, the site and four social media pages affiliated with the ISIS operative were seized.
What does this mean for crypto?
The latest actions taken by the U.S. government play a big role in the crypto space and not just the world of terrorism. The United States has persistently shown the world that things are changing in the crypto space. From now on law enforcement will be cracking down on illicit cryptocurrency applications.
It has become clear for criminals that they can no longer just hide behind cryptocurrency. New ways to trace criminals and their transactions present. Terrorist organizations seem to understand that and are adapting their tactics.
What's next for the operation?
A quick peak at the three terrorist groups indicates striking similarities. All three terror groups employed similar tactics to raise money. The groups used social media and cryptocurrency in similar ways.
For now, the charged suspects have not faced trial in court. This makes all of the charges are only accusations from a legal standpoint.
It is expected that people that donated to terror campaigns will be tracked. Many people across the U.S. and other locations have donated to the organizations. The move is expected to occur in a bid by the law enforcement to uncover the world of terrorist funding.