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Europol Report States No Evidence of Terrorists Using Bitcoin

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:46 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:46 PM

A Europol report that establishes a review of EU member states and the Europol in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that struck Paris in November 2015 has found no confirmed evidence that suggest Bitcoin is used for terrorism financing.

A report by Europol – the European Union’s law enforcement agency, has aggregated and established a rounded review of the changes in Islamic State’s operations, studied by EU member states and Europol itself soon after the Paris attacks late last year.

The report also stated that the financing of terrorist operations did not undergo any marked changes in recent times. Furthermore, the report also states that the sources of funding of ISIS operatives in the European Union ‘are largely unknown.’

An excerpt from the report  read:

Despite third party reporting suggesting the use of anonymous currencies like Bitcoin by terrorists to finance their activities, this has not been confirmed by law enforcement.

The report coincides with the launch  of the European Counter-Terrorism Centre (ECTC), a central information hub wherein EU member states will share information between law enforcement agencies to combat organized crime and terrorism.

Bitcoin’s Unfounded Bad Rap

It is widely reported  that illegal oil smuggling is known to be the chief source of revenue for the extremist group, in addition to kidnapping/extortion and selling antique wares around the world. Despite various accounts  of where ISIS gets and uses money to finance its operations, Bitcoin and anonymous payment methods along with prepaid cards were under the scanner in the wake of the Paris attacks. An emergency meeting was convened by interior and justice ministers of the European Union to call for the control of virtual currencies.

Furthermore, an Anonymous spin-off group  claimed to offer evidence linking ISIS to a bitcoin address containing millions in its value in USD. While these claims were later proven to be unfounded, the resulting media coverage put the spotlight firmly on of digital and anonymous currencies.

Meanwhile, the Europol is yet another official report from a regulatory or a law enforcement agency that confirmed no evidence of a link between bitcoin and terrorism. A recent report  by the HM Treasury Department of the UK government offered a deduction similar to the one now established by Europol and EU member states.

“There was little evidence to indicate use by established money laundering specialists or that digital currencies played a role in terrorist financing,” the HM Treasury report read.

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