The Israeli government has reportedly seized 190 crypto exchange Binance accounts with alleged terrorist ties since the beginning of 2021, according to a report by Reuters. The report details how Israeli law enforcement officials have been working closely with Binance to identify and seize accounts belonging to individuals and organizations suspected of financing terrorist activities.
The Israeli government has been cracking down on cryptocurrency-related crime and terrorism financing for some time now. In 2019, the country introduced legislation that allows law enforcement officials to seize cryptocurrency assets of individuals suspected of terrorism financing, money laundering, or other serious crimes. The legislation also established new reporting requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges, requiring them to report any suspicious transactions to the authorities.
Since the introduction of the legislation, Israeli law enforcement officials have been working closely with cryptocurrency exchanges to identify and seize accounts belonging to individuals suspected of terrorism financing. In the case of Binance, it appears that Israeli officials have been particularly successful in identifying and seizing accounts with alleged terrorist ties.
According to the Reuters report, Israeli officials have seized 190 Binance accounts since the beginning of 2021. These accounts are reportedly linked to individuals and organizations that are suspected of financing terrorist activities in the Middle East. The report also notes that Binance has been cooperating with Israeli law enforcement officials in their efforts to identify and seize these accounts.
Binance is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, with billions of dollars worth of transactions taking place on its platform every day. As such, it has become a popular target for law enforcement officials around the world seeking to crack down on cryptocurrency-related crimes. The exchange has previously come under fire from regulators in the United States, Japan, and elsewhere for allegedly failing to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.
In response to the Israeli government’s seizure of accounts with alleged terrorist ties, Binance issued a statement saying that it takes its compliance obligations seriously and works closely with law enforcement agencies to combat money laundering and other illegal activities. The statement also noted that Binance has developed a new artificial intelligence-powered tool to help identify suspicious transactions on its platform.
The Israeli government’s crackdown on cryptocurrency-related crime and terrorism financing is part of a broader trend around the world. Governments and law enforcement agencies are increasingly recognizing the potential of cryptocurrency to be used for illegal activities, such as money laundering, terrorism financing, and drug trafficking. As a result, they are taking steps to regulate and monitor the use of cryptocurrency in order to prevent these activities from taking place.
In conclusion, the seizure of 190 Binance accounts with alleged terrorist ties by the Israeli government is just one example of the growing global trend towards increased regulation and monitoring of cryptocurrency. As more and more governments and law enforcement agencies recognize the potential of cryptocurrency to be used for illegal activities, it is likely that we will see more widespread crackdowns on cryptocurrency-related crime in the years to come. While this may pose challenges for cryptocurrency exchanges and users, it is ultimately necessary to ensure that cryptocurrency can be used safely and responsibly in a regulated environment.
Israeli authorities have seized nearly 190 Binance accounts believed to be linked to terrorist groups since 2021, according to recently leaked documents from the National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing. The documents revealed that in January, an undisclosed sum of cryptocurrency was confiscated from two accounts allegedly linked to ISIS, a terrorist group based in Syria and Iraq. Other government records dating back to 2021 suggest that over 100 of the seized account were linked to Hamas, a Palestinian armed group that has clashed with the Israeli Defense Forces.
Israeli law permits the defence minister to order the confiscation of assets affiliated with terrorist groups. The NBCTF said it seized the funds to “thwart the activity” of ISIS and “impair its ability to further its goals”.
Critics have accused Binance of encouraging its users to flout its money laundering controls. Reuters reported last year that since 2017, the exchange has processed over $10bn in payments made by criminal enterprises and others seeking to evade US sanctions. Binance insists that it adheres to all relevant regulations and takes co-operation with law enforcement seriously.
Binance has a compliance team of over 700, which handles 1,300 requests from law enforcement on a weekly basis, according to Binance VP of Global Intelligence and Investigations Tigran Gambaryan. The exchange says it goes through a lengthy process in order to determine whether an account is tied to criminal organisations, stating that bad actors “don’t register accounts under the names of their criminal enterprises”. Instead, it works to identify individuals operating accounts on behalf of illicit organisations in collaboration with law enforcement.
Since last year, ISIS has seen a resurgence in southern Syria, according to the Middle East Institute. At its peak in 2014, the group controlled between 100,000 and 110,000 sq km of land across Syria and Iraq. This had dwindled to roughly 4,000 sq km by the time ISIS was forced to retreat from its last stronghold in Syria’s Baghuz in 2019.
The NBCTF did not respond immediately to requests for comment on the leaked documents.