• FinCEN has issued an alert, highlighting Hamas using cryptocurrency and fake charities for funding.
  • Also, FinCEN warns beware of cryptocurrency donation solicitations on social media for possible illicit ties.

In a move to combat the potential misuse of cryptocurrency by terrorist organizations, the United States Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an alert to financial institutions on October 20th. The alert specifically focused on the militant group Hamas, responsible for the October 7th attack on Israel.

FinCEN warned that Hamas had been using cryptocurrency, along with fictitious charities, to fund its activities. The alert urged digital asset service providers and financial institutions to be vigilant and to identify and report suspicious transactions possibly linked to Hamas.

The advisory provided several key points for financial institutions to consider. They were cautioned to be on the lookout for clients who had engaged in transactions with businesses operating in regions associated with Hamas, entities already on the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s list of Specially Designated Nationals, and those involved in soliciting cryptocurrency donations through social media channels.

This alert from FinCEN closely followed concerns voiced by U.S. lawmakers regarding the potential misuse of cryptocurrency, particularly in the wake of Hamas’ attack on Israel. In response, U.S. Treasury officials also included a Gaza-based cryptocurrency operator allegedly linked to Hamas on the list of sanctioned entities.

Recently, the Israeli cyber unit, in collaboration with the National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF), has frozen cryptocurrency accounts linked to Hamas.