Bitcoin and other Crypto Addresses Associated with Hamas Donation Campaigns Now Seized by Israeli Government: Report

Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF) has shared information on the “seizure” of virtual currency held by several different crypto wallets that are believed to be associated with donation campaigns “carried out by Hamas.”

As noted in a report from Chainalysis, the seizure included “but was not limited to the Al Qassam Brigades (AQB), which is Hamas’s military wing.”

The blockchain analysis firm also mentioned that this action comes “after a sizable uptick in cryptocurrency donations to Hamas in May following increased fighting between the group and Israeli forces.”

As stated in the report from Chainalysis, 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 OSINT, including social media pots, as well as blockchain data.”

Chainalysis has shared how blockchain analysis “contributed to the investigation.”

As mentioned in the update from the company, blockchain analysis “shows movement of donation funds to exchanges.” The Chainalysis Reactor graph reveals the Bitcoin portion of the transactions “carried out by many of the addresses listed in the NBCTF announcement.” Many of these addresses have been “attributed to individuals connected to the donation campaigns,” the blockchain firm noted.

The company’s detailed analysis shows how funds moved to certain cryptocurrency exchange addresses from Hamas donation addresses, “often passing first through intermediary wallets, high-risk cryptocurrency exchanges, and money services businesses (MSBs).”

Chainalysis pointed out that we can see that “two addresses named in the announcement received funds from addresses associated with the Idlib office of BitcoinTransfer,” a Syrian crypto exchange that is allegedly “connected to previous terrorism financing cases.”

As mentioned in the update, another entity received funds from a Middle East-based MSB that had “previously received funds from the Ibn Taymiyya Media Center (ITMC), an organization that has also been associated with terrorism financing in the past.”

Chainalysis has also shared a list of addresses “seized and identified.” The blockchain analysis firm has provided a comprehensive list of all virtual currency addresses “named in the NBCTF announcement, broken down by the individual controlling the address where possible.”

The blockchain firm confirmed that they are currently “in the process of labeling these addresses in all of our products, and will notify clients of any exposure they have to them.”

As noted by the company, this investigation is “a perfect example of the value of blockchain analysis, especially when used in conjunction with other open source data.”

Chainalysis added:

“Israeli authorities analyzed OSINT to find Hamas’ donation addresses and, with blockchain analysis tools, were able to follow the funds to find consolidation addresses and uncover the names of individuals associated with the campaigns. Up to date transaction data across several blockchains was crucial here, as agents tracked and seized funds in several different varieties of cryptocurrency.”

The blockchain analysis firm also noted that they “commend the Israeli authorities for a successful operation and look forward to facilitating more such successes for our government partners around the world.”

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