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Hamas and Jihad militants that joined together received nearly $150 million in bitcoin since 2021



In the aftermath of the horrific terrorist attacks in Israel, questions remain as to how Hamas was able to carry out such a large-scale attack. The answer, at least partially, may lie in cryptocurrency. DW, Germany’s international broadcaster and international media outlets writes: “how did Hamas gather the resources for such a sophisticated attack against one of the world’s most well-prepared militaries? According to analysts, cryptocurrencies played a significant role.”

DW reports:

Hamas received $41 million (€39 million) between August 2021 and June 2023, according to crypto analytics and software firm BitOK, which is based in Tel Aviv. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), whose militants joined Hamas in carrying out the attack, received another $93 million in cryptocurrencies, according to London-based crypto researcher Elliptic.

The al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, have also received millions of dollars of cryptocurrency transfers, according to an Elliptic analysis. These transfers came in the form of bitcoin, the stablecoin tether and other crypto-assets, including dogecoin, a cryptocurrency popular with Elon Musk that was initially invented as a joke.
Some of these groups are even 
involved in crypto-mining, Elliptic says, which allows them to earn more money from the basic maintenance of cryptocurrency networks.

The Wall Street Journal wrote “Hamas’s lightning strike on Israel last weekend has left observers questioning how the group financed the surprise operation. One possible answer: cryptocurrency.”

The United Nations estimates that cryptocurrencies account for 20% of terror financing in the world. Critics say crypto is the perfect funding tool for criminals because the payments can be difficult to track and can evade financial regulations.

“It’s alarming and should be a wake-up call for lawmakers and regulators that digital wallets connected to Hamas received millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies,” US Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Crypto is the not-so-secret financial weapon funding terrorist organizations like Hamas, Chinese fentanyl networks and North Korea’s missile program.”

Forbes magazine named Hamas one of the wealthiest terrorist groups in the world nearly a decade ago in 2014, when their annual turnover was estimated to reach as much as $1 billion. This came from taxes and fees as well as financial aid and donations, reports DW.

“Much of the funding for Hamas has come from expatriates or private donors in the Gulf region. Iran is considered one of Hamas’ most prominent financial backers. According to the US State Department, the Middle Eastern power provides Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups with around $100 million a year in funding. Qatar and Turkey have also financially backed Hamas” adds the DW report.

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