Sen. Warren and 100 Other Lawmakers Question Biden on Terrorist Financing with Crypto
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has called on the Biden administration to address crypto’s use as a terrorist financing tool. Her concerns were documented in a bipartisan letter signed by over 100 lawmakers, including Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan) and Rep. Sean Casten (D-Ill).
According to her official website, the Massachusetts Democrat stated that the Hamas terrorist organization had secretly raised funds via cryptocurrency to launch its ongoing attacks against Israel.
Warren is seeking information on how these criminal organizations evaded US sanctions and how the Biden administration will tackle terrorist financing with cryptocurrency going forward.
"Crypto’s role in financing Hamas’ activity has emerged as a hot issue for lawmakers such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)" pic.twitter.com/R77n7IhPaz— Conor (@jconorgrogan) October 18, 2023
The lawmakers revealed that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) raised $130 million in cryptocurrency funds between August 2021 and June 2023, providing context for why their concerns should be heard.
These transfers were done using a plethora of digital currencies.
Since the beginning of this year, PIJ has sent $12 million in crypto to Hezbollah – another extremist Muslim faction.
Cryptocurrency transfers are difficult to track, posing a challenge for various governments to crack down on using crypto assets in terrorist financing. This makes it harder to stifle the growth of insurgency across different regions.
Pointing out the present danger inherent in this unchecked system, the lawmakers quoted a Telegram post by Hamas that bordered on how money is the backbone of war.
The call for a strong and clearer plan from the Biden-led administration regarding crypto’s use by terrorists comes amidst a raging war between the Hamas group and Israel.
Following the attacks that started earlier this month, at least 1,200 Israelis have lost their lives to barrages of rocket missiles fired by the Hamas groups and their allies.
The Israel Defence Force (IDF) has responded to their attacks and begun a full-fledged attack on the Gaza Strip, which houses most armed groups.
Senator Elizabeth Warren and other US senators request a prompt response by October 31 from the US Treasury and Washington DC.
Clampdown on Crypto For Money Laundering
The US has imposed multiple sanctions against hostile forces in the fight against global terrorism.
In a recent statement by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), ten key Hamas group members, operatives and financial facilitators in Gaza, Sudan, Türkiye, Algeria, and Qatar were added to its sanctions list.
According to OFAC, a Gaza-based virtual currency exchange is also involved in this latest round of sanctions.
Speaking on the new round of sanctions, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated that the US government agency has effectively disrupted terror financing over the years.
The Treasury Department has successfully targeted over 1,000 individuals and entities connected to terrorism and terrorist financing.
The agency stated that the latest rounds of aggression with Israel have further served as an incentive to bring down the atrocious tower of evil built by the Iranian regime and their Islamic jihad groups.