The United States Department of Justice is attempting to seize Bitcoin [BTC] from 155 addresses it alleges were employed by Al Qaeda to fund terrorism.
Within a recent complaint case for forfeiture filed earlier today, the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations [HSI] and International Revenue Service cyber-crimes unit claim that Al Qaeda created a classy money-laundering operation via a network of Telegram channels, that they used to solicit bitcoin donations intended to fund acts of terror.
“Al-Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups are operating a Bitcoin [BTC] money laundering network using Telegram channels and other social media platforms to solicit BTC donations to fulfil terrorist goals,” the complaint added. “As described, al-Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups operate variety of Telegram channels and purport to act as charities when, in fact, they’re soliciting funds for the mujahadeen.”
The complaint starts with donations transferred to a Telegram group called “Tawheed & Jihad Media,” that began soliciting bitcoin donations in Aprillast year. Investigators used Chainalysis and Excygent to trace-back bitcoin transfers from these organizations over the last 18 months.
Overall, the investigators found 155 different cryptocurrency addresses they claim are tied to Al Qaeda and various other organizations allegedly supporting the terrorist organization .
The total number of cryptocurrency presently held on the addresses wasn’t shared.
Explaining further, the complaint added:
“The Defendant Properties are subject to forfeiture to the U.S.… as assets of a far off terrorist group engaged in planning or perpetrating any federal crime of terrorism.”
In line with the Middle East Media Research Institute, Telegram groups were soliciting bitcoin for terrorist groups as recently as July this year.