You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

U.S. Officials Seize Cryptocurrency Accounts Tied to al-Qaeda and ISIS Agents recouped about $2 million worth of virtual currency in total.

By Kris Holt

entrepreneur daily

This story originally appeared on Engadget

Allexxandar/Getty Images via engadget

US authorities have dismantled financing campaigns for three terrorist organizations, which included "the government's largest-ever seizure of cryptocurrency in the terrorism context," according to the Department of Justice. The Internal Revenue Service, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Federal Bureau of Investigation were involved in the operation against the al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas's military wing), al-Qaeda and ISIS.

The DoJ asserts the al-Qassam Brigades solicited Bitcoin donations through social media and its websites. Agents from the IRS, HSI and FBI were able to seize 150 cryptocurrency accounts tied to the group. Individuals based in the U.S. who allegedly donated to them were subject to criminal search warrants, while the District of Columbia U.S. Attorney's Office has laid money laundering charges against two Turkish individuals linked to those fundraising efforts.

According to another forfeiture complaint, al-Qaeda and affiliates used Telegram and other social media channels to solicit Bitcoin donations. In some cases, the groups allegedly pretended to act as charities. Agents uncovered 155 cryptocurrency accounts linked to that terrorism fundraising campaign.

Related: Cryptocurrency and Taxes: What You Need to Know

As for ISIS, someone tied to the group allegedly ran a COVID-19 protective gear scam. Murat Cakar, who the DoJ describes as "an ISIS facilitator," was selling phony N95 respirator masks and other protective equipment through a website, according to a complaint. One US-based customer tried to buy gear for hospitals, nursing homes and fire departments. Officials seized that site, along with four related Facebook pages.

In total, agents recouped about $2 million worth of cryptocurrency, according to the New York Times. Once the case is concluded, the Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund may receive some or all of the seized funds. Officials also blacklisted some private crypto wallets said to contain millions of dollars more in virtual currency, which will make it harder for account owners to cash out those funds through financial institutions.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

This Dad Started a Side Hustle to Save for His Daughter's College Fund — Then It Earned $1 Million and Caught Apple's Attention

In 2015, Greg Kerr, now owner of Alchemy Merch, was working as musician when he noticed a lucrative opportunity.

Business News

I Designed My Dream Home For Free With an AI Architect — Here's How It Works

The AI architect, Vitruvius, created three designs in minutes, complete with floor plans and pictures of the inside and outside of the house.

Marketing

Save Big and Get This Pro Collage App for $39.99

Edit, adjust, and create collages in seconds.

Business News

This Fan-Favorite Masters 2024 Item Is Still $1.50 as Tournament Menu Appears Unscathed by Inflation

The pimento cheese sandwich is a tradition almost as big as the tournament itself.

Business Solutions

Handle In-House Projects More Efficiently with MS Project Pro — Just $24 Through April 16

It's designed to help teams stay on task with features like management templates, timesheets, generators, and more.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.