A five-month investigation by the Delhi Police Fusion and Strategic Intelligence Operations (IFSO) division allegedly revealed that Hamas was behind a cryptocurrency wallet hack, according to the newspaper. Times of India.
According to the article, the theft of the cryptocurrencies amounts to $536,000 at current prices.
Allegedly, the funds had been sent through several private wallets before reaching al-Qassam Brigades, the military unit of Hamas.
Previously collected in 2019 by a businessman in the residential area of Paschim Vihar, in Delhi, the victim lost access to his wallet, which remains bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) and bitcoin cash (BCH).
The wallet details were uploaded to the dark net (a section of the internet that is not accessible by traditional search engines) which is already used to illicit and cryptocurrency-related finance.
“The confiscated wallet belonged to Mohammad Naseer Ibrahim Abdulla,” IFSO said in the article. “Another wallet, from which the cryptocurrencies had been transferred, belonged to Ahmed QH Safi from Rmallah, Palestine.”
The newspaper also reported that part of the stolen cryptocurrency was transferred to a British gambling site and a child pornography site.
Hamas and cryptocurrencies
This is not the first time that Hamas has used cryptocurrencies to finance its activity.
The group, regarded as a terrorist organization by the US, UK and other governments, turned to the cryptocurrency market to avoid international sanctions.
This is quite evident during times of renewed conflict with Israel. According to a senior Hamas official in June 2021 (when there was an armed conflict with Israel), the group had a increase in bitcoin donations.
“Without a doubt, there has been an increase [nas doações em bitcoin]. Part of the money is used for military purposes to defend the basic rights of Palestinians,” he said.
In 2019, the Hamas al-Qassam Brigades were publicly asking for bitcoin donations.
THE group, according to the US Department of Justice (or DOJ), “bragged that bitcoin donations were untraceable and would be used for violent causes.”
*Translated and edited by Daniela Pereira do Nascimento with permission from Decrypt.co.