Bitcoin may be the next weapon in ISIS extremists' arsenal

Anti-DNC group plans citizen's arrest of Hillary Clinton during convention speech
The Philadelphia-based coalition of Bernie Sanders supporters and other groups is protesting this year's Democratic National Convention.

See all Editor's Picks

isis flag with bitcoin logo
Terrorism 2.0.

A blogger is teaching jihadi groups, and specifically members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), how to organize and finance terrorism through Bitcoin, Sky News reports. A recent blog post highlights how well the cryptocurrency can serve the needs of ISIS militants.

ISIS, which now calls itself the Islamic Caliphate, has captured a large swath of territory in northern Syria and Iraq in recent months, as it attempts to establish a strict Islamist state in the region.

The article, which can be read as a PDF here, was reportedly sent to Sky News from sources within ISIS/Islamic Caliphate. It comes from a “new online magazine” and showcases tools like Dark Wallet that have been marketed as “money laundering tools” by developers.

Silk Road is also mentioned as “an online black market that could have potentially be used for anything from purchasing weapons to donating to  mujahideen, though most kufar [a derogatory term for non-Muslims] used it to intoxicate themselves.”

The author, known as Amreeki (American) Witness, frequently posts on Twitter to over 1,000 followers.

"This allows our brothers stuck outside of the ardh Dawlatul-Islam to avoid government taxes along with secretly fund the mujahideen with no legal danger upon them,” reads Amreeki Witness’s article. "This system has the potential to revive the lost sunnah [the ideal Muslim way of life, based on the teachings of Muhammed] of donating to the mujahideen, it is simple, easy, and we ask Allah to hasten it’s [sic] usage for us."

Psuedononymous Bitcoin usage by criminals and terrorists has long been a source of criticism for the digital currency. Bitcoin’s defenders, however, say that articles like these spread needless “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” and question its authenticity—which, it has to be noted, has not been verified.

This report comes just a week after it was revealed that the National Security Agency targeted Tor users because the software is “a comsec [communications security] mechanism advocated by extremists on extremist forums.”

Although the NSA’s dragnet was so broad as to invite a torrent of derision, several journalists tracking online jihadi activity nodded in agreement. Noted journalist J.M. Berger said he saw such discussion and pointed to @switch_d, who confirmed its use by terrorists.

Free speech protesters in countries like Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, and Iraq also use Tor, however—and for the exact same reason as the jihadis: security and freedom.

H/T Business InsiderIllustration by Jason Reed

Promoted Stories Powered by Sharethrough
Layer 8
A female Lebanese news anchor was told to shut up—here's what she did instead
Rima Karaki is a Lebanese TV host who isn't afraid of a fight. Things got heated Monday when Karaki was interviewing Hani Al-Seba'i about the phenomenon of Christians joining Islamic groups like ISIS. Al-Seba’i is a Sunni scholar who fled to London after he was sentenced in an Egyptian court to 15 years in prison for being a part of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The United Nations considers the group to be an affiliate of al Qaeda.
'Bitcoin Jesus' plans large donation to defense fund of alleged 'Dread Pirate Roberts'
The man they call “Bitcoin Jesus” is about to bestow a cryptocurrency blessing on the man the feds are calling “Dread Pirate Roberts.”
The Latest From Daily Dot Video

Pure, uncut internet. Straight to your inbox.

Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!