According to a recent report, terrorist groups including Al Qaeda and ISIL are increasingly turning to Bitcoin to finance their activities. The authors cite several examples, including: The tech talk section of Al-Haqiqa, a pro-Al Qaeda English-language magazine, released in February 2018, examined the permissibility of using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to fund their activities; […]

Global Witness reports that the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) may be profiting from mining activities in Afghanistan. The report provides an overview of the possible extractive activities that ISKP may be engaging in in Afghanistan, primarily mining of talc, chromite, precious and semi-precious stones, tourmaline, and possibly emeralds. Prior to being taken over […]

US airstrikes are targeting more than Taliban fighters – they’re now going after the group’s fundraising activities. About 113 US airstrikes have targeted Taliban revenue, directed primarily against opium production and roadside taxes. Most of the airstrikes have been aimed at labs that process opium. These airstrikes are part of a new US strategy aimed […]

Effectively implementing sanctions against North Korea has been a difficult proposition. Despite sanctions, North Korea continues to raise foreign exchange to pay for imports from China. Part of the reason for this difficulty is that the country’s trade and finance networks operate unofficially, largely outside the detection capabilities of regulators, which in turn is partly due to […]

Belgian authorities have discovered than around €200,000 was transferred to Belgians fighting with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. No timeframe for the transfers was given, but the money is reported to have come primarily from friends and family of the foreign fighters. Funds were transferred  through money services businesses (Western Union was specifically named). […]

According to a US indictment, Abdullahi Ahmed Abdullahi has been charged with providing material support to terrorists. The RCMP arrested Abdullahi on 15 September 2017 following a US extradition request. According to the US indictment, “Abdullahi committed an armed robbery of a jewelry store for the purpose of financing the travel and efforts of co-conspirators […]

According to the Iranian Parliament Research Centre, problems between Iranian and foreign banks is non-sanction related. The research centre writes that Iranian banks are lagging behind their Basel III requirements, specifically regulation, supervision, risk management, and the implementation of basic AML/CFT requirements. The research centre also pointed out that Iran lacks strong supervisory institutions in the […]

The DPRK uses a variety of schemes to circumvent sanctions and obtain the goods and services it requires. Recent reports reveal the details of one such procurement network in Malaysia. North Korean operatives abroad are known to engage in international trade in order to generate cash and obtain goods. Ri Jong Chol was one such […]

In another designation by the US Department of the Treasury, Mohammad Ibrahim Bazzi and Abdallah Safi-al-din were listed as specially designated global terrorists. Bazzi was designated as one of Hizballah’s top financiers, and for his link to drug dealers and is alleged to have laundered money to fund terrorism. Bazzi is also reported to have […]

On 15 May 2018, the US Department of the Treasury‘s Office of Foreign Asset Control announced new sanctions against the governor of the Central Bank of Iran, the chairman and CEO of Al-Bilad Bank (Iraq), and a Hizballah financier. According to OFAC, Valiollah Seif, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran facilitated the movement […]

On 17 May 2018, reports indicated that a Canadian in Thunder Bay, Ontario, used proceeds from his coffee business to finance the alt-right. Thomas White donated some of his profits to the Daily Stormer legal defence fund and other causes such as Chris Cantwell’s (the crying neo-Nazi) Legal Defense Fund, the Right Stuff forum, Identity Evropa, […]

On 16 May 2018, Turkey’s state-controlled bank Halkbank’s deputy general manager (Mehmet Hakan Atilla) was sentenced following a January 2018 conviction for helping Iran evade US sanctions. He helped Iran spend oil money abroad using fake gold and food transactions as cover. The central figure in the scheme was a Turkish-Iranian gold trader  (Reza Zarrab) […]

The relationship between Credit Bank Moscow PJSC and Rosneft has become very close. Last year, Rosneft placed 22 billion rubles (~ $355 million US) in long-term deposits at the bank that do not come due until 2066, shoring up the bank’s capital at a time when it’s stability was in question. Rosneft is now one […]

On 11 May 2018, the US and the UAE announced that they had jointly taken action to disrupt a currency exchange network that facilitated financing for the IRGC-QF. The entities in question used their access to exchanges in the UAE to acquire US dollars that the IRGC-QF used to fund and arm its regional proxy […]

On 10 May 2018, a network of suspected AQ-linked Italian jihadists were arrested in Sardinia and in northern Italy. Ten of the individuals detained were accused of money laundering and distributing money to the jihadists, while another four are suspected of being a support cell for al-Nusra front (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham). Funds were reportedly raised […]