Australian Home Affairs Minister: Cryptocurrency Is Being Used to Fund Terrorism

Australia's Peter Dutton

Peter Dutton, Home Affairs Minister of Australia, warns the public that cryptocurrency is being used by terrorists who are exploiting it for transactions and funding of their heinous agendas. He further added that sine the transactions of digital currencies are anonymous, it is allowing them to go unnoticed under the radar.

As part of a conference speech, Dutton claimed that the secrecy that is offered by such technologies, referring to cryptocurrencies, can benefit terrorist organizations’ financiers to cloud their activities. The counter-terror conference was held in Melbourne on Thursday.

The dangers of anonymity of cryptocurrency have long been issues for regulators and criminal investigation agencies. The large transfer of money across international borders without any information about the sender or receiver have been a cause of concern for such anti-terrorism and anti-crime departments.

Dutton further stated that the increased use of electronic transactions, digital cryptocurrencies, value cards given out by various stores, easy to access online payment structures and other systems of crowd-funding platforms provide the terrorists with new ways through which they can receive online payments to fund terrorist activities.

Dutton says that it is the responsibility of the countries to remain active and stay ahead of the new and modern methods through which terrorism is thus being funded. He also warns terrorist organizations while mocking them to go back to using traditional methods of payment in their fields, such as ransom money and fake charities designed to extract money from the public.

The Home Affairs Minister shared plans of taking further steps to help counter this growing problem. Dutton said that they will extend call for help from Australia’s private leaders so they can join them in fighting against this. He further added that the country needs to stand together and that it welcomes skills and expertise on this field from governments outside of Australia.

Crypto, Charities, Non-Profits in the Service of Terrorists

He asserted that he would also call for a heightened investigation of fraudulent charities and not-for-profits and examine them in-depth since too many of them have become one of the more popular methods of financing terrorism. Dutton stated that in many cases, these charity organizations and not-for-profits are clueless about what is happening and how they are being taken advantage of.

Currently, Australia’s anti-money laundering watchdog, AUSTRAC will be appointed to work to the Indo-Pacific to work against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda. The Minister of Home Affairs says that they plan to combat them with ‘environmental radicalism.’

Australia is not alone in the crypto-terrorist thesis. US treasury official has already warned that terrorists could use cryptocurrencies, while Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has specifically mentioned Facebook soon-to-be launched cryptocurrency Libra as a digital currency that terrorists will employ. Also, several reports that were published recently showed how the terrorist organization Hamas is using Bitcoin (BTC) for its nefarious purposes.

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