Jihadis bank on bitcoin for fresh flow of terror funding

Thursday, December 21, 2017
By Paul Martin

FORMER CIA counterterrorism analyst says that jihadist groups are looking to boost their cash reserves on the rising value of bitcoin.

Thu, Dec 21, 2017

Yaya J. Fanusie, the director of analysis at US think tank the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance says that although untraceable cash remains the global terror network’s preferred medium for moving funds, recent online activity shows that jihadist groups are turning to bitcoin digital currency to attract funds from supporters.

According to the former CIA man, who released the think tank’s report on report on business security website Cipher Brief: “Salafi jihadist networks are well aware of bitcoin and are continuing to experiment with ways to finance themselves through this cryptocurrency”.

Mr Fanusie points to recent online activity shows that some jihadist groups are soliciting bitcoins, which can be acquired and spent without any government or banking intermediary.

Although the technology is cutting-edge, the method is tried-and-tested with so-called “news” outlets used to promote al-Qaida or Islamic State (IS) prompting readers to send funds “anonymously” to specific bitcoin addresses.

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