A former counterterrorism analyst for the CIA has found that terrorists are utilizing innovative technologies to boost their funding, one of which is through the use of bitcoin.
Yaya Fanusie is the director of analysis for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF) who previously spent seven years as both an economic and counterterrorism analyst in the CIA.
Writing on The Cipher Brief, he explained how he recently came across a troubling case of innovative terrorist fundraising.
According to Fanusie, The Ibn Taymiyya Media Center (ITMC), which is an online jihadist propaganda unit located in the Gaza Strip, has been using social media to run a fundraising campaign. Fanusie states that it is the first terrorist group to publicly use the digital currency.
At the beginning of the year, Europol revealed that no terrorist group was using bitcoin for terrorism financing.
Although the campaign has not yet raised much digital currency, this effort shows how terrorists are experimenting with new financial technology to expand funding.
Links to Islamic State
Fanusie adds that the ITMC is