US Think Tank Links Rising Bitcoin Price to Spike in Terrorist Interest
According to the US national security advisor, groups affiliated with Islamic extremism are showing an increased willingness to raise funds using bitcoin. The jump of fundraising with bitcoin began early last month, just as the cryptocurrency’s price first passed the $10,000 milestone. “My theory is the attention to bitcoin has probably led to certain groups taking a look at the technology,” said director Yaya Fanusie in interview.
After more than a year without identifying a single instance of a group associated with terrorism publicly using bitcoin to solicit donations, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, which advises both public and private entities on matters relating to national security, has identified four cases in less than a month.
As part of Fanusie’s work to educate the public on his findings, the former Central Intelligence Agency analyst has today released a report detailing the work. Published on business security website Cipher Brief, the report details an unintended and perhaps sobering consequence of bitcoin’s skyrocketing price.
Shortly after the 0.0757 bitcoin was donated to the still-active campaign, the cryptocurrency (worth about $1,389) was moved to a separate account. Other fundraising activities included more mundane efforts such as website hosting. As of Dec, 19, Fanusie has confirmed to CoinDesk the funds had still not been spent.