An investigation by the Delhi Police’s Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Ops (IFSO) division, which spanned five months, has reportedly revealed that Hamas was behind a cryptocurrency wallet hack, per the Times of India.
Per the Times of India report, the cryptocurrency theft was worth $536,000 by today’s prices.
The funds were reportedly sent through various private wallets before reaching the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing.
First raised in 2019 by a businessman in Delhi’s residential Paschim Vihar area, the victim lost access to his wallet which contained , , and .
That wallet’s details were then reportedly uploaded onto the Darknet—a section of the internet not reached by traditional search engines—that has seen more than its fair share of crypto-related illicit finance.
“The seized wallet belonged to Mohammad Naseer Ibrahim Abdulla,” the IFSO said in a report. “Another wallet, in which cryptocurrencies had been transferred, belonged to Ahmed QH Safi from Ramallah in Palestine.”
The Times of India also reports that some of the stolen cryptocurrency was transferred to a UK-based gambling site and a child pornography site.
Hamas and crypto
This is not the first time Hamas has used cryptocurrencies to fund its activity.
The group—considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., UK, and other governments—has turned to the cryptocurrency market to circumvent international sanctions.
This is especially true during times of renewed conflict with Israel. According to a senior Hamas official in June last year—a time that followed armed conflict with Israel—the group witnessed a surge in Bitcoin donations.
“There was definitely a spike [in Bitcoin donations]. Some of the money gets used for military purposes to defend the basic rights of the Palestinians,” the official said.
In 2019, Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades were calling for Bitcoin donations online.
The group, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, “boasted that Bitcoin donations were untraceable and would be used for violent causes.”