The Department of Justice announced Thursday the “dismantling of three terrorist financing cyber-enabled campaigns,” targeting efforts by the al-Qassam Brigades — the military wing of Hamas – Al Qaeda and ISIS.
U.S. officials said these terror groups used cryptocurrency and social media to raise funds from around the world for their operations. American authorities have now used judicially-authorized warrants to seize millions of dollars from over 300 cryptocurrency accounts, four websites, and four Facebook pages related to the terror groups’ “criminal enterprise.”
“It should not surprise anyone that our enemies use modern technology, social media platforms, and cryptocurrency to facilitate their evil and violent agendas,” said Attorney General William Barr. “We will prosecute their money laundering, terrorist financing, and violent illegal activities wherever we find them. And, as announced today, we will seize the funds and the instrumentalities that provide a lifeline for their operations whenever possible.”
The DOJ said funds forfeited with a connection to a state sponsor of terrorism may be directed to the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund after the conclusion of the investigation.
“Terrorist networks have adapted to technology, conducting complex financial transactions in the digital world, including through cryptocurrencies,” said Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin. “Today’s actions demonstrate our ongoing commitment to holding malign actors accountable for their crimes.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.