Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing has issued a seizure order against 84 cryptocurrency addresses associated with Palestinian resistance group Hamas as it looks to confiscate holdings of Bitcoin, Tether, Dogecoin and other cryptos.
- “This action comes after a sizable uptick in cryptocurrency donations to Hamas in May following increased fighting between the group and Israeli forces,” wrote Chainalysis, a blockchain data analysis provider. “Notably, this is the first terrorism financing-related cryptocurrency seizure to include such a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, as NBCTF seized not just Bitcoin, but also Ether, XRP, Tether, and others, following an investigation focused largely on analysis of [open-source intelligence], including social media pots, as well as blockchain data.”
- Elliptic, another blockchain data analytics provider, wrote in a blog post that the addresses had collectively received more than US$7.7 million in cryptocurrencies, and that many of the addresses were associated with Hamas’s military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades. The addresses were used in a fundraising campaign that raised more than US$100,000 in Bitcoin between January 2019 and May 2021, according to Elliptic.
- “The seizure order indicates that Hamas is now using a range of crypto assets — including Dogecoin, Tether and Ether,” Elliptic said. A chart created by Elliptic and reproduced below shows the cryptocurrencies received by the addresses listed in the seizure order.
- The order names seven individuals — Ali Ismail Shafiq Abualkas, Mahmoud Madhat Ahmed Baroud, Tareq Alla Mohammedali Baraaasi, Mahmoud Mohammed Mahmoud Ayesh, Karem Munir Mohammed Abed and Mohammed Nasser Ibrahim Abulaila — and provides their Palestinian Authority ID and passport numbers, and their dates of birth.
- The order stipulates that anyone receiving the funds, or who has been requested to perform an action with the funds, should contact Israeli police in accordance with Israel’s anti-terorrism laws.