July 24, 2023

Report Shows Growing Evidence of ISIS’s Utilization of Crypto

ISIS Usage of Crypto

ISIS Usage of Crypto

Blockchain intelligence company TRM Labs revealed that there is increasing evidence that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) affiliates across Asia are reportedly depending on cryptocurrency.

TRM Labs found on-chain links between these affiliates and pro-ISIS fundraising campaigns in Syria. The report found that pro-ISIS networks in countries such as Indonesia, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan utilized cryptocurrency to fund their operations over the past 12 months, according to Cointelegraph.

According to the report, most of the transactions related to the issue involved the use of Tether on the Tron network. It also mentioned that a noticeable number of individuals had used Indonesian-based crypto exchanges to transfer money to addresses related to pro-ISIS fundraising campaigns in Syria.

“Over USD 517,000 was sent in 2022 by individuals using an Indonesia-based exchange to addresses identified by TRM Labs as belonging to pro-ISIS fundraising campaigns in Syria and the local exchanges that facilitate their activities,” the report read.

Already, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on five Indonesian individuals for facilitating money transfers from Indonesia to ISIS members in Syria.

The report monitored that multiple pro-ISIS groups sent around $2 million in USDT on Tron to one of the fundraising campaigns in Syria in 2022. Later on June 22, 2023, Turkish authorities arrested Shamil Hukumatov, a senior ISIS fundraiser, who was allegedly behind the fundraising campaign.

In Pakistan, ISIS’s affiliate groups sent a total of around $40,000 over the last 12 months to Syria after announcing accepting donations in the second half of 2022, according to TRM Labs.

The report pointed out that most of the money sent to ISIS in Syria could be donations to its families in camps such as al-Hol and Roj. In this regard, TRM Labs stressed the importance of finding these campaigns, tracing the donations on the blockchain, and identifying the donors to disrupt pro-ISIS networks around the world.

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