April 19, 2024
Cryptocurrency’s Role in Financing terrorism
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Cryptocurrency’s Role in Financing Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad

The Wall Street Journal has reported, citing information from forensic firm Elliptic and BitOK, a software company in Tel Aviv, that the Hamas terrorist organization and its associated groups have received substantial cryptocurrency donations, emphasizing the following findings:

1. Palestinian Islamic Jihad, within the timeframe of August 2021 to June 2023, amassed a total of $93 million in cryptocurrency donations.

2. Over the same period, Hamas received approximately $41 million in cryptocurrency contributions.

Cryptocurrency is commonly viewed as an alternative financing method for organizations and nations that are excluded from the global financial system controlled by the United States. Notably, North Korean hackers have managed to obtain significant sums in cryptocurrency by exploiting various protocols and projects. Due to the inherent privacy features of many cryptocurrencies, it becomes challenging for government agencies to effectively track the flow of these funds, causing heightened concerns.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant conveyed in an interview with the WSJ in June that Hamas’ militant wing, known as the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, had received up to $100,000 in bitcoin (BTC) since the start of 2021, with a notable increase in donations occurring in May, coinciding with a period of escalated tensions involving rocket attacks between Israel and Hamas. It was also revealed that Binance played a central role in facilitating these transactions, as confirmed by data from three blockchain analytics firms.

Nonetheless, it is essential to acknowledge that cryptocurrency does not serve as the primary source of funding for Hamas and its affiliated groups, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah-based groups in Lebanon. Iran remains the predominant source of funding, contributing an estimated $100 million annually, as per information from the U.S. government.

Image by freepik

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