Terrorists Raise Crypto Funds via Privacy App Telegram, Report Claims

The privacy-focused instant messaging app Telegram – that is launching its blockchain in October – is reportedly used by terrorist groups to raise funds in crypto for their cause, a recent study shows.

Supporting terrorists by donating car bombs for $20,000 in crypto

According to the Washington-based nonprofit firm Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), are using social media – Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms with the emphasis on Telegram, stating that it is the terrorists’ “app of choice” – to raise funds in various cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, dash, ether, and monero.

Terrorists reportedly use Telegram – that is launching its blockchain platform Telegram Open Network (TON) –to raise funds in crypto. Source: Wikimedia

The jihadist groups reportedly publish nice-looking videos, PDFs, posters, and other materials in Telegram groups and dedicated Instagram and other social media accounts with hashtags for their “campaigns” to encourage readers to donate.

Donors can buy car bombs for $20,000 and rockets for $9,000 with a chance to preparing a fighter for a storming operation for $1,000 in the Syrian militant group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) Telegram group.

SadaqaCoins – a global jihad crowdfunding platform – published a video shared in a Telegram group asking for donations like purchasing a bolt action sniper rifle for $4,070 for the terrorists, MEMRI’s report dubbed “The Coming Storm: Terrorists Using Cryptocurrency” stated.

It will become worse after the release of Telegram’s TON blockchain

Telegram – that has completed a record-setting Initial Coin Offering (ICO) last year – is launching the public test of its Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain on September 1 with the full release of both the network and the company’s GRAM token expected at October 31, according to the Russian media outlet Vedomosti.

In light of its new report, MEMRI fears that the release of the TON blockchain will make things worse in regards to terrorist activities conducted in the instant messaging app.

According to the Washington-based research institute, counterterrorism officials should be prepared for the surging terrorist activity after the release of TON.

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Benjamin Vitáris

Ben is a crypto journalist and copywriter who has a great passion for blockchain technology. He believes that decentralization empowers people to take charge of their lives, and gives back what we desired for a long time: financial freedom. Follow him on Twitter @BenjaminVitaris or email him directly at dzsuvalance(at)gmail.com. Benjamin is crafting crypto content from his home office in Budapest, Hungary.

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