The Justice Department had announced the seizure of over $2 million from crypto wallets linked to terrorist groups such as ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Al Qassam Brigades. These groups allegedly have been using Bitcoin and other crypto wallets to finance their activities.
The Department was also able to track down and close over 300 accounts that were aiding the terrorist groups. They said these accounts had been set up to receive, send, and sometimes solicit money to fund terrorism around the world. The Justice Department further stated that they had seized accounts of donors responsible for sending these funds to these terrorist groups, and users would not be able to transact or use their accounts again, including withdrawing.
Terrorist groups using cryptos
The Terrorist groups had also set up social media posts to advertise to their donors about their activities. Some of the tricks they were using included claiming that they were selling personal protective equipment for coronavirus. These accounts were tracked and the Justice Department was able to determine the funds sent were being channeled to fund terrorist activities.
John Demers, the assistant attorney general at the National Security Division, in a statement said,
Today’s actions deprive Hamas, Al Qaeda and ISIS of millions of dollars they solicited to buy weapons and train terrorists.
Justice Department compiled the list of accounts sending donations
The belief that payment through bitcoin and other cryptos as safe to ensure that the transactions are untraceable proved to be futile for these accounts. Authorities indicated that they were able to track transactions made using cryptos and compile the list of accounts that were used to send these donations to terrorist groups.
In July, authorities were also able to track the accounts of people responsible for the Twitter bitcoin scam and arrest them. They did that using their registered details and tracking their wallets to having been registered on Coinbase, which is registered as a money service business and that means it has to comply with authorities and transactions cannot, therefore, be anonymous.