TRM Labs, a blockchain intelligence platform, divulged that USDT on the Tron network is the primary transactions option for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) partners in Asia.
A recently released report by TRM Labs reveals the intensifying utilization of cryptocurrency by ISIS members across Asia. It associated considerable on-chain links between the groups and pro-ISIS funding operations in Syria.
Pro-ISIS Operators Leveraging USDT Transactions on Tron Network
The report was published on July 21 and revealed rising on-chain proof from the past year concerning the utilization of cryptocurrency across pro-ISIS networks in Indonesia, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan to run operations. TRM claims that Tether on the Tron network was linked to most of the transactions associated with the cases.
A July 21 presentation by Elliptic’s ex-head of technical crypto advisory, Tara Annison. She stressed that Tether and Tron were common assets for unlawful utilization. She also claimed that criminals favored stablecoins instead of Bitcoins.
According to Annison, Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) have profound liquidity as well as ‘outstanding volume.’ As such, funds laundering becomes easier.
The report also highlighted that a considerable number of persons are utilizing Indonesian-founded exchanges to send money to addresses linked to pro-ISIS fundraising operations. It claimed that in 2022, people sent more than $517000 using an Indonesia-based exchange.
Pro-ISIS Fundraising Drives Tracked to Syria
TRM Labs identified the addresses as belonging to pro-ISIS fundraising drives in Syria as well as local exchanges facilitating their actions. According to the intelligence platform, the campaigns revealed the funds sought to support and aid in freeing ISIS families captured in Syrian camps.
TRM Labs also wrote that USD on the Tron network was used to make all transfers and involved sums above $10000.
This report specifies a situation in Tajikistan in which crypto played a role in the recruitment of fighters for ISIS’s partner in Afghanistan. One fundraising operation that lasted over a year was associated with an address that obtained an estimated $2 million in USDT on Tron in 2022.
TRM Labs established the funds’ flow and alerted the exchange utilized by the group for cashing out the funds via blockchain tracing. Afterward, local authorities were notified, leading to the Turkish authorities arrest of Shamil Hukumatov, a senior ISIS fundraiser, in June 2022.
Crypto Enhancing Capability to Accept Donations in Pakistan
It was also revealed that in the second half of 2022, a media unit associated with ISIS’s affiliate in Pakistan started enhancing its capability to accept donations.
This follows TRM Lab’s revelation in a June 28 report claiming that over the past seven years, unlawful finance volume concerning Bitcoin had crashed considerably.
It was revealed that initially, Bitcoin was the preferred currency for financing terrorism. However, by 2022, it was replaced by Tron, which accounted for 92 percent of terrorist financing.
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