A coalition of 105 lawmakers, led by Senators Elizabeth Warren, Roger Marshall, and Representative Sean Casten, is pressuring the Biden administration to promptly address the issue of cryptocurrency exploitation by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, the United States launched a comprehensive campaign known as the “War on Terror.”
This initiative involved a series of military operations, intelligence gathering, and diplomatic engagements aimed at dismantling terrorist networks and preventing future attacks.
The United States has also officially condemned Hamas as a terrorist organisation after Hamas offensive attack on Israel on 7 October 2023.
Crypto Funding for Terrorism
Recent reports have shed light on the increasing utilisation of cryptocurrency by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
“Between August 2021 and this past June, [Hamas and PIJ] raised over $130 million in crypto, and moved millions among each other, ‘with PIJ sending over $12 million in crypto to Hezbollah since 2023.’
Israel’s confiscation of Hamas-related crypto wallets, alongside the growing employment of digital assets by these organisations, has prompted serious apprehension.
In response, Israeli law enforcement authorities have taken decisive action against cryptocurrency accounts suspected of financing Hamas.
Notably, their efforts to sever ties between crypto markets and the militant group have intensified following recent attacks.
Crackdown on Crypto-Backed Terrorism
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a vocal advocate for stricter anti-money laundering regulations for cryptocurrency in the U.S., has been rallying bipartisan support for legislation aimed at countering potential misuse of cryptocurrencies in funding terrorism.
The issue of crypto-financed terrorism has become a pressing concern for an increasing coalition of senators.
Since 2001, the United States has been resolute in its fight against terrorism.
Despite existing cryptocurrency regulations, the recent exploitation of digital currencies for financing terrorist activities has compelled the US to further fortify its regulatory framework, particularly in light of the recent attacks by Hamas.
Therefore, President Biden’s response to this bipartisan appeal will play a crucial role in determining the government’s stance on the use of cryptocurrencies for illicit purposes, serving as a reflection of the U.S’s anti-terrorism endeavours.