The U.S. Department of Justice has said it has thwarted fundraising attempts by various militants around the world by seizing hundreds of cryptocurrency accounts, four Facebook accounts, and four websites. According to reports by Reuters, the seizure is the largest cryptocurrency syncopal episode by the Hamas, al-Qaeda, and Islamic State military-terrorist platforms to raise funds via cryptocurrency through schemes that included selling fake COVID-19 safety equipment to U.S. hospitals. Three militia groups ended their fundraising efforts following the seizure by the US government of their online accounts.
The authorities noted that the government, along with more than 300 cryptocurrency accounts, four websites and four Facebook (FB.O) pages, recovered at least $ 2 million of cryptocurrency. Syrian Al-Qaeda militants sought donations via the Telegram message application and said it was a bid to buy weapons. Meanwhile, U.S. officials said the Al-Qassam Brigades are using the internet (social media and websites) to collect donations for crypto. It said government agents seized control of one website to funnel payments away from the group which is the armed wing of the Hamas Palestinian militant Islamist organization. Nevertheless, the U.S. government also issued search warrants for individuals living in the U.S. who donated to the campaigns.
On the other hand, the Justice Department claimed the IS, advertised on a website and Facebook as sellers of Covid-19 personal protective equipment. The militants, however, only sold fake COVID-19 equipment to collect funds. A US official who went unnamed said the terrorists believed they had been covered by encryption from authorities. He added the websites and social media pages were not hidden against anyone, including authorities.
IS Remains UK’s Biggest Security Threat
According to a warning from the country’s defense secretary, Ben Wallace, the IS remained the biggest security threat in the United Kingdom. He added that the ideology of the militia group remains a major threat despite the loss of territorial control in both Iraq and Syria.
Wallace told the House of Commons that British aircraft had hit at least 40 IS targets in the last year. These targets included arms bunkers, caves in Northern Iraq, and training camps. However, while the secretary underscored a strong military attack on the Islamists, he claimed that the group’s ideologies still prevailed throughout the region.