Finance

US seizes virtual currency alleged to fund militant groups

Posted On: Aug 13, 2020   |   Posted By: My Sanantonio

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department said Thursday that it has seized millions of dollars from cryptocurrency accounts that militant groups, including al-Qaida and the Islamic State, used to finance their organizations and violent plots.
Law enforcement officials said the groups used the accounts to solicit donations, including through a scam that sought to raise money from the sale of fraudulent personal protective equipment for the coronavirus pandemic.
Officials described it as the largest-ever seizure of virtual currency funds related to terrorism. It's also part of a broader Justice Department goal of dismantling financial networks for extremist organizations, including those designated as foreign terror groups.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are favored for illicit transactions because they are perceived as hard to trace, and one of the groups singled out Thursday explicitly encouraged donations by telling potential contributors that the money trail would be difficult for law enforcement to...

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