Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Home CryptoPotato News 29 People Using Crypto to Fund Jihadists and Al-Qaeda Members Arrested in...

29 People Using Crypto to Fund Jihadists and Al-Qaeda Members Arrested in France

French authorities have arrested 29 people allegedly operating a sophisticated network of funding jihadists and al-Qaeda members with cryptocurrencies. The police suspected that the network has been active for over a year and has funded terrorist organizations for hundreds of thousands of euros.

French Police Arrests 29 People

According to the report, France opened an investigation in January 2020 when a service of the Ministry of Finances called Tracfin detected a complex network of funds transferred to French jihadists that remained in Syria.

Months later, this led to the massive nation-wide operation in which the local police arrested 29 people suspected of involvement with the network. The two primary targets identified as Mesut S. and Walid F. were allegedly the architects of “this network of terrorism financing.”

The authorities connected both of them with Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham – a group affiliated with al-Qaeda. Mesut S and Walid F were already convicted in France in 2016 and sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison.

The remaining 27 detained people for questioning are aged between 22 and 66. Although the police believe all of them to be injecting funds into the network, most had relatively smaller roles.

You Might Also Like:

Cryptocurrency Involvement In Terrorism Financing

The report further explained that the initial stages of the network began in 2013. The suspects primarily used cash and transferred it to countries neighboring Syria. However, as authorities tightened their grip, the network evolved to a more sophisticated and less visible system.

This led to the usage of cryptocurrencies in more recent years. Mesut S and Walid F allegedly orchestrated the digital asset transfers to French jihadists that remained in Syria.

The arrested 29 people purchased cryptocurrency coupons in France whose details were “transferred by secure messaging to jihadists in Syria, who could then retrieve the money through cryptocurrency platforms.”

The prosecutor’s office said that the suspects were constantly and anonymously buying such coupons worth between 10 and 150 euros. The authorities estimated that the total amount of transferred funds via digital assets equaled “hundreds of thousands of euros.”

The funds allegedly reached members of al-Qaeda still hiding out in northwest Syria, and jihadists of the Islamic State group on the run since Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died during the US raids in October 2019.

It’s worth noting that this is not the first cryptocurrency usage in terrorist financing unveiled recently. As CryptoPotato reported earlier, the US Justice Department seized over 300 digital asset accounts operated by al-Qaeda, Hamas, and ISIS.

Binance Futures 50 USDT FREE Voucher: Use this link to register & get 10% off fees and 50 USDT when trading 500 USDT (limited – first 200 sign-ups & exclusive to CryptoPotato).

Click here to start trading on BitMEX and receive 10% discount on fees for 6 months.

Popular Articles

Blockchain Analytics Firm Looks to Trace Monero (XMR) Transactions

Monero (XMR) has been one of the main privacy technologies in the crypto space for many years now. Unlike what many think, Bitcoin is...

Suzhou Next City in China to Test Digital Yuan DCEP in Red Envelope Event

As part of its continued efforts to launch its digital yuan dubbed the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP), China’s central bank is scheduled to...

Ethereum 2.0 Has Enough Staked ETH to Launch

Just this morning, there was some concern that Ethereum 2.0, the proof-of-stake sequel to Ethereum's current proof-of-work blockchain, wouldn't hit its launch target of...

ETH 2.0 confirmed for Dec. 1 launch just hours before deadline

ETH 2.0’s beacon chain genesis has been confirmed for Dec. 1, following the transfer of 524,288 Ether from 16,384 validators into the ETH 2.0...

Bitcoin Becoming More Mainstream While Bond Trading Is Dying, Says Australian Investment Firm

One of Australia's largest investment management firms by assets under management has recently converted to Bitcoin. On behalf of Pendal Group, Head of Bond, Income,...

Analyst Claims XRP Likely to Target $0.70 as Uptrend Turns Parabolic

XRP has surprisingly been one of the best performing major altcoins throughout the past few days, seeing parabolic gains as bulls take full control...