ISIS leveraging stablecoins for funding operations in Africa

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The terrorist group ISIS is leveraging stablecoins such as Tether for fundraising and global financial transactions, including operations in Africa. 

As reported by Bloomberg, the Counter ISIS Finance Group is an international coalition to disrupt the militant organization’s financial networks and found the initiative used by the terrorist group. While traditional methods like cash couriers remain predominant, there’s a notable shift towards using cryptocurrencies, particularly by IS affiliates in West Africa.

Despite losing control over large territories in Syria and Iraq, IS factions, especially in Africa, persist in their violent endeavors. The organization reportedly possesses between $10 million and $20 million in cash and other liquid assets—a significant decrease from their previous financial capacity, which amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars.

The primary source of income for the group’s Somalia faction is the collection of approximately $6 million through extortion and levying local taxes. 

The U.S. DOJ’s recent $4.4 billion settlement with Binance also included allegations that the exchange failed to implement essential anti-money laundering measures to counteract the financing of terrorist organizations, including IS. The Counter ISIS Finance Group consists of the United States, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and other nations united in their efforts to curb IS’s financial activities.

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