It was discovered that Hamas, a Palestinian militant group that attacked Israel in a surprise attack, raised tens of millions of dollars worth of funds through cryptocurrency.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on the 10th (local time), three armed groups, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Hezbollah, have attracted huge amounts of money through cryptocurrency over the past year.
Eliptic, a research institute specializing in cryptocurrency, analyzed that the digital currency wallet, which Israeli authorities believe is linked to PIJ, received $93 millio in cryptocurrency from August 2021 to June.
Tel Aviv-based virtual currency analysis company BitOK also found that about $41 million flowed into wallets connected to Hamas during the same period.
It has not been confirmed whether the cryptocurrency they received was used directly to fund the Israeli attack. The size of the cryptocurrency seized from the wallet by Israeli authorities has not been identified.
Analysts believe that the amount identified this time is likely to be only a part of the total funds of the three organizations.
On the 7th, the Jewish Sabbath, the PIJ’s armed forces are known to have attacked Israel from Gaza with Hamas, killing 900 civilians and kidnapping at least.
All three armed groups are subject to Treasury sanctions due to the designation of U.S. terrorist organizations abroad, and access to international banking networks is restricted. If it is confirmed that it is dealing with the organization, it may be subject to criminal prosecution and sanctions.
Western terrorism analysts and former government officials interpret the cryptocurrency transaction as showing efforts by the U.S. and Israel to block overseas financing.
“The use of cryptocurrency is much easier than smuggling cash through the Egyptian border,” said Matthew Price, a former IRS investigator who now leads Eliptic.