Israel continues its fight against financing terrorism through cryptocurrencies. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the seizure of 30 crypto wallets and 12 accounts, all linked to financing terrorism.
The crypto wallets were linked to Al Mutahadun exchange company that is owned by the Shamlach family of Gaza. Al Mutahadun crypto exchange was labeled as a terrorist organization in 2021 for its active role in financing Hamas.
Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF) recommended listing Al Mutahadun as a terrorist organization. Shamlach family’s companies were used to transfer millions of dollars from Iran to Hamas.
The operation was conducted by the NBCTF and Lehav 433.
This is not the first time the Shamlach family has been making headlines. In 2021, Israel confiscated 23 tons of chocolate imported by Al Mutahadun for Exchange and the Arab Training Company China. Both companies were owned by Zahir Younes Shamlach.
The investigation concluded that Hamas planned to sell the imported chocolate bars to the people while using the funds to finance terrorism. The capital was intended to be used mostly by Hamas armed military wing.
Today’s seizure marks the third time Israeli authorities have seized cryptocurrencies that were linked to terrorism.
July 2021 Seizure Blockchain Analysis
In July 2021 seizures, NBCRF used Open Source Intelligence Tools (OSNIT) to track the movements of the cryptocurrencies. Chainalysis presented how blockchain analysis was used in an effort to track the transactions.
The analysis shows the path of the cryptocurrencies that were used to fund terrorism. A variety of cryptocurrencies were used, which were not limited to bitcoin. XRP, USDT, DOGE, BNB and even ADA were used. The funds were raised by al-Qassam Brigades.
The Israeli authorities said they will continue monitoring transactions in the blockchain that are used to fund Hamas and other terrorist groups in the region.
Other terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda have also turned to cryptocurrencies, reaching out to people via Telegram and Facebook groups. Law enforcements are taking action across the globe, seizing cryptocurrencies that are linked to terrorism.