CipherTrace A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a digital asset des... More Intelligence Update: 07/16/2021
On July 1, Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF) released a seizure order listing several cryptocurrency addresses across several blockchains associated with donation campaigns carried out by designated terrorist organization Hamas. In addition to Bitcoin is a digital currency (also called crypto-currency) ... More and Ethereum, the seizure order demonstrates that Hamas also collected donations in Tether, TRON, Cardano, XRP, and DOGE, indicating their attempts to break out from reliance on bitcoin after the US Department of Justice announced the seizure of $2 million in cryptocurrency from prominent terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Hamas in August 2020.
This action comes on the heels of the armed conflict between Israel and Gaza in May of this year which resulted in an uptick in reported cryptocurrency donations to Hamas. This is the first terrorism financing-related cryptocurrency seizure in Israel and highlights the importance of A blockchain—the technology underlying bitcoin and other c... More analysis in tracing the flow of funds to identify bad actors and counter terrorism financing.
CipherTrace analysts identified further movement of funds belonging to al Qassam Brigades—the military wing of Hamas and OFAC-sanctioned entity—that have not been previously analyzed and not yet seized by the NBCTF.
It appears that al Qassam Brigades [Hamas] withdrew some donation funds from their accounts at a large, global exchange between June 6 – 9, consolidated and redistributed a portion of those funds back into new deposit addresses, likely linked to new accounts, at the same global exchange. One plausible explanation for this transfer pattern is to attempt to avoid additional governmental scrutiny and or further seizure of their funds.
Further analyses on additional Hamas clusters find that on June 14, funds moved through addresses not previously identified and then distributed into two additional identified global exchanges around July 2.
This May, CipherTrace reported on donations made to Syrian terrorist organization al-Ikhwa, which were ultimately sent to al Qaeda, following intelligence gleaned from independent journalist group MagniF!le and their investigation into Syrian terrorist groups’ telegram channels. According to MagniF!le’s research, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and other terror organizations in the region have accepted more than $250,000 in donations through BitcoinTransfer channel since 2018 in an effort to fund its independent exchange offices in Idlib and other “liberated” provinces in Syria.
CipherTrace further analyzed al-Ikhwa and other extremist group clusters to identify additional connections to the NBCTF seizures.
Donations sent to al-Ikhwa and Leave an Impact Before Departure (LIBD) in 2019 were ultimately sent to al-Qaeda controlled addresses before being deposited into an identified global exchange. The deposit address at this exchange is linked to Mahmoud Madhat Ahmed Baroud, according to the NBCTF seizure notice.
CipherTrace Intelligence continues to monitor the donation funds which remained in private wallets or other addresses that had not yet moved.
List of addresses identified by the NBCTF
Below is the full list of cryptocurrency addresses named in the NBCTF announcement.
Ali Ismail Shafiq Abualkas
Mahmoud Madhat Ahmed Baroud
Tareq Alla Mohammedali Baraaasi
Mahmoud Mohammed Mahmoud Ayesh
Karem Munir Mohammed Abed
Mohammed Ramadan Hasan Abukwaik
Mohammed Nasser Ibrahim Abulaila