Experts have revealed that ISIL used crypto platforms for concealing financing and getting around the financial security measures.
Terrorists believe crypto is a perfect safe heaven.
ISIL (Islamic state of Irak and the Levant) was recognized as the richest terroristic group in the world. Governments of the whole world are familiar with this terroristic organization and are actively trying to block and track all the attempts to finance it via all possible banking sources.
Still all of these difficulties have not prevented ISIL from looking for alternative ways to get around anti money laundering and sanctions. The organization uses cryptocurrencies as it is looking for unknow and anonymous ways to transfer money. According to the latest research, experts fear that the missing ‘fighting portfolio’ of the terroristic group that is estimated at 246 million of pound sterling could be transferred into cryptocurrency in order to be hidden from the government. Last year at Easter ISIL used cryptography to fund the terroristic attack on Sri Lanka, and at least 250 people died after terrorists attacked 4 hotels and 3 churches.
Hans Jakob Schindler, the director of a project for combating extremism that track the terrorism financing tendency, reported that starting from 2017 government is looking for ‘fighting portfolio’ of the terroristic group, and there is a chance it can be exchanged for crypto for further usage. Then Schindler added, “We haven’t found about $300 million in 2017-2020, and I think this could be a trick in order to use the money in crypto assets”.
This can be the perfect storage model. And if there is a need to withdraw funds, it would be invisible for most governments”.
ISIL, as many suppose, is the first terroristic group that would be prosecuted by law for crypto activity. Schindler mentioned that both ISIL and Hamas have been noticed in crypto usage since 2014. Since the very appearance of cryptocurrency, ISIL has wondered what could it be useful for. Due to users’ anonymity it is almost impossible to trace terrorists. And this is why the expert calls on the Government to work at creating a legal framework for implementing stricter regulations.
Experts are raising the alarm. Yaya Fanusi, the head of Democracy protection fund, has been studying usage of cryptocurrency in terrorism since 2016. The first time he saw the increase of crypto donations was on crowdfunding websites. He stated that ISIL supporters rely increasingly on the sophistication of blockchain technology for getting funds for their purposes since instead of one blockchain address there are always several addresses that makes it harder to track transactions for law-enforcement agencies. He said that criminals use software their supporters can download, and therefore they do not have to make crypto exchanges.
The report on US Security made by NSRD (National Security Division) last year contained the call for collaboration between intelligence community and law enforcement for solving this issue. NSRD announced that the wide implementation and usage of these technologies represent the crucial ambiguities having significant operational impact. The analysis also shows that supervision and regulation of crypto, and international cooperation between intelligence and enforcement bodies would be the important steps to prevent terroristic groups from funding their activities using crypto.