ISIS alleged to have funded Easter bombings with Bitcoin | Daily News

ISIS alleged to have funded Easter bombings with Bitcoin

A blockchain intelligence company called Whitestream has claimed that ISIS used the CoinPayments platform to convert cryptocurrency into dollars shortly before the April 21 attacks on hotels and churches in Sri Lanka.

The Israeli intelligence startup told Globes that Bitcoin’s anonymity and unsupervised international money transfers make it ideal to be used by terrorist groups.

Whitestream has since discovered that there was a surge of transfers to Bitcoin wallets, allegedly used by ISIS, the day before the coordinated attacks which left hundreds dead.

Authorities suspect members of two previously lesser-known groups, the National Thawheed Jamath and the Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim, of carrying out the attacks, although the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for them. During an investigation, Whitestream discovered that the Bitcoin balance held by CoinPayments had increased by hundreds of percent on April 20.

The balance of the main wallet rose from £383,000 [$500,000] to £3.45 million [$4.5m] on April 20. On Easter Sunday, the balance reverted back to the original amount, which it had been for the previous nine months. Whitestream said, “In the past two years, ISIS has been running a mass funding campaign to raise donations in Bitcoin.

“The aim of the campaign is to contribute to the organisation’s technological division, which deals with the media, advertising, and computer infrastructure sectors. “The main efforts are carried out through a dedicated website. The domain address is frequently changed to prevent tracking by authorities around the world.

“CoinPayments admits that their wallet was involved, but denies that it is connected to ISIS. It’s possible that the company is not aware of the usage of their wallets, perhaps because ISIS uses straw companies in order to transfer the money.”

They continued: “This is not the first time that the name of CoinPayments has been connected to a terrorist organisation. Last February, we saw that Hamas had also sent some of the donations that they had received in Bitcoin to this platform, probably in order to convert it from regular money.

“Terrorist organisations are in the habit of exploiting unregulated commercial platforms and working through them. Whitestream works with the Israeli Defence Ministry’s National Council for Fighting Terror Financing in order to thwart and halt such transfers.” (Daily Mail)

 


 

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