Threat Watch

Hamas Looks to Increase Funding Through Crypto-Currency

Hamas: Social media continues to change the way our world works every day. Over the past month, social media has continued this trend.  After the success that ISIS found through their use of social media, more extremist organizations have turned to social media to find new aid and support from around the world.  Recently, Hamas took to social media to seek out new sources of funding to help keep them afloat.  The group posted several times looking to crowdsource Bitcoin donations.  Within days of the posting of the group’s first Bitcoin wallet address, they had received approximately $900 USD in Bitcoin.  Within a week of the group’s second post with a different Bitcoin wallet address, that wallet had received over $2,500 USD in Bitcoin.  While these amounts may seem inconsequential, the fact that they were able to crowdfund such amounts as fast and as early on as they did mark a significant improvement for the group’s ability to find funding.

ANALYST NOTES

With practice and increased social media exposure, the group could probably significantly increase their revenue through crowd funding. This success could be further increased if they chose to follow in Hezbollah’s footsteps and were to set up organizations, which on the surface appear to be legitimate aid organizations, to funnel money through. Utilizing front organization disguised as aid organizations who accept crypto-currency is becoming increasingly easier as crypto-currencies remain difficult to effectively track and continue to gain in popularity around the world with organizations of all types.