According to the claims of a cyber intelligence analyst from Israel, ISIS uses the dark web and bitcoin for purposes like fundraising and recruitment.
ISIS and their history with bitcoin
The recent revelation isn’t actually the first time ISIS seems to be involved with bitcoin. Back in July, a blog linked to ISIS was reportedly discussing the possibility of using bitcoin to fund global jihadist efforts. This time, as reported in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, it’s estimated that global jihad activists are trying to migrate their operations to the “dark web.” According to web analyst Ido Wulkan, this migration is a result of the increased efforts by popular media to shut down any accounts connected to ISIS.
Funding through the US?
The fundraiser in the recently discovered website reportedly called for the support of a “new Islamic front – both in the United States, and around the world.” While the website that initially raised those concerns is said to be shut down, Wulkan is worried that this could be a much bigger problem. As he describes in the analysis by S2T:
“It is a known fact that global Jihad activists relay more and more on the Internet for recruiting as well as raising money and resources,”
According to him, the discovery of this fundraising website is rare concrete evidence of the rumors that have been about the rumors of Jihadists using bitcoins.
The other side of the story
In an interview with RT, Jimmy Gurule, international criminal law expert on terrorism and terrorist financing, agreed that the allegation is possible.
“If you’re going to be moving money, the terrorists are going to be looking for the point of least resistance, where it’s easier and there are less criminal and legal repercussions for moving money, and that’s certainly not in the United States,”
And that’s where bitcoin comes in according to Gurule. However, he was skeptical about the claims saying that ISIS was receiving funding from within the US pointing out that any US resident who provides financial assistance to ISIS is subject to criminal prosecution. He also pointed out that ISIS is mostly a self-funded organization. Gurule also questioned the validity of the sources claiming that they may be giving false information in order to create a phony lead.
Images from twitter and S2T.