Terrorist groups haven’t stopped creating new payment mechanisms to enable their supporters to continually fund their operations without an interception. Neither has anti-terrorist agencies relaxed their policing measures to fight against terrorism financing. Law enforcement agencies are actively monitoring and improving their technique as terrorists continually advance.
This became clear in recent surveillance made by the local police in France. The surveillance led up to the detention of a group of people funding terrorism in Syria by transferring cryptocurrencies.
Police arrests persons involved in terrorism funding
France24, a popular French news outlet, reported that the police arrested about 29 persons involved in the act. They participated in a cryptocurrency network/scheme specifically designed to finance a terrorism group in Syria known as the ‘jihadist group.’ The culprits used cryptocurrency coupons to transfer bitcoins to their allies in Syria.
They fund the jihadist group through this method since the past year. Previously, the now-arrested persons mostly used traditional payment methods to send these funds to the terrorists. However, it is easier for government and anti-terrorist agencies to monitor and intercept. In order to avoid this, they resorted to cryptocurrency, which keeps the identities of the senders and receivers unknown.
As France24 reported, the culprits usually purchase cryptocurrency coupons and send the details to the terror group in Syria. The terrorists then claim the coupon’s worth, which credits to them in Bitcoin. They basically chose this option to conceal their identities, per the report.
Besides, a majority of the crypto coupon vendors do not require buyers to verify their identity. The culprits leveraged on this to perpetrated their funding activities without getting caught, not until now.
Global authorities closely enforcing measures against terrorism
This is the more reason why terrorist financing is increasingly done with digital currencies nowadays. The police added that: “Constant surveillance of these networks prompted terrorist organizations to seek more opacity by using crypto-currencies such as bitcoin.”
Despite using cryptocurrency, governments and law enforcement agencies could still intercept fundings to terrorists. Sometime in August, the United States Department of Justice ensnare Hamas, al-Qaeda, and ISIS donors in a crypto sting operation. The DOJ seized more than 300 crypto accounts belonging to the terrorists.