A Middle East research group has established that terrorists are finding an easy way to fund their outfits by using cryptocurrencies in their transactions.
The Executive Director of Middle East Media Research Institute, Steven Stalinsky notes in his latest book, “American Traitor: The Rise and Fall of al Qaeda’s U.S.-born Leader Adam Gadahn” the steady and confirmed use of cryptocurrencies in funding cross-border terrorism, one of the most difficult issues bothering international political relations today.
In the United States, investigations led to the conviction of Zoobia Shahnaz in New York to be guilty of funding Islamic State a terrorist group with money laundering and bank fraud practices with bitcoin apart from other cryptocurrencies. Her fraud was found out by law enforcement officials from overseas wire transfers designed to avoid financial reporting requirements.
According to findings of the 9/11 Commission Report in 2004 terrorist financing,
“Vigorous efforts to track terrorist financing must remain front and center in U.S. counterterrorism efforts information about terrorist money helps us to understand their networks, search them out, and disrupt their operations.”
Islamic State physical caliphate is currently in disarray and cryptocurrencies such as Dash, Zcash, Monero and Ethereum, Verge as alternate funding options for terrorist activities. Transactions using these cryptocurrencies are swift as well as anonymous besides changing the very nature of traction.
Terrorist groups emerging such Ibn Taymyiyyah Media Center, Al-Sadaqah, Malham Tactical are known to use cryptocurrency. The communication system is largely via encrypted apps such as messaging using Telegram by terrorist groups for ease of use and support secure venue planning and recruiting as well as seeking out help from Western supporters.
Telegram is the way forward
Telegram text and voice messaging is encrypted and has wide-ranging acceptability among the cryptocurrency community. Telegram was developed by Russian Pavel Durov in 2013 and has become one of the most popular services with 100 million active monthly users for a period of two years given the features of secrecy, criminal as well as terrorist groups.
The bitcoin groups are typically using financial activity on Telegram and have triggered Durov to consider launching a Telegram native cryptocurrency of $1.8 billion in terms of funding.