20. June 2024

Israel Seizes Crypto from Terror Groups, Crediting New Tech

• Israeli authorities seized cryptocurrency wallets containing millions of dollars intended to fund terror groups.
• The operation was enabled by collaboration among the Israeli defense and justice ministries, intelligence and enforcement agencies, as well as blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis.
• Palestinian Sunni organization Hamas had previously announced in April that it would no longer accept donations in cryptocurrency out of safety concerns.

Israel Seizes Crypto From Terror Organizations

Israeli ministries of defense and justice collaborated with intelligence and enforcement agencies to seize crypto wallets containing millions of dollars intended to fund terror organizations, the country’s National Bureau for Counter Terrorist Financing announced June 28. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant credited new technology for the operation’s success.

Chainalysis Pitches In

Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis said that its tools were used in the operation. The company reported that Israeli authorities seized $1.7 million in cryptocurrency from addresses associated with Hezbollah and Iran’s Quds Force terrorism financing infrastructure using its Reactor service.

Hamas No Longer Accepts Donations In Cryptocurrency

In April, Palestinian Sunni organization Hamas announced that it would no longer accept donations in cryptocurrency out of concern about the safety of donors after “intensification of hostile efforts against anyone who tries to support the resistance through this currency.” Reuters reported a few days later that an anonymous donor had sent 70 Bitcoin (worth around $500,000 at the time) to support Palestinians living under occupation in Gaza, West Bank or East Jerusalem.

Seizure Is Largest Yet For Hezbollah & Quds Force

Gallant said at a conference on June 27th that this operation concluded “a few days ago” and is the largest seizure of crypto meant for Hezbollah and Quds yet. He added: “We have effectively cut off the flow of terror funds via this channel.”

Implications Of New Technology On Terrorism Funding

This successful operation highlights how new technologies can be used to tackle terrorism funding within countries like Israel – however there are still many hurdles ahead before global terrorist financing can be completely eradicated from digital currency networks worldwide.