Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, has been instrumental in aiding the arrest of key members of the Islamic State – Khorasan Province (ISKP), an affiliate of the global terrorist network ISIS. The operation was a joint effort between Binance, the Financial Monitoring Department under the National Bank of Tajikistan, and blockchain intelligence firm TRM Labs.
Binance’s Sanctions Investigations and Compliance teams, in collaboration with TRM Labs, have been working since December 2022 to counter threats posed by ISKP. Their efforts culminated in the arrest of several ISKP members, including the group’s ranking member, Shamil Hukumatov. These individuals were reportedly involved in planning imminent attacks.
The collaboration involved monitoring a Telegram channel frequented by ISIS members. Binance’s investigations led to the identification of a crypto wallet address used by an ISKP leader to receive donations. This intelligence was pivotal in facilitating the arrests.
A spokesperson from the Financial Monitoring Department under the National Bank of Tajikistan stated, “The National Bank of Tajikistan is committed to doing its part to further national and global security on all fronts, including counterterrorism. Over the past months, our counterterrorism efforts have been facilitated by the proactive intelligence sharing and investigative support provided by investigations experts on the Binance team.”
Tigran Gambaryan, Binance’s head of financial crime compliance, highlighted the company’s proactive approach in monitoring transactions on its exchange and tracking crypto-related discussions on platforms like Telegram. While specific details regarding the cryptocurrency used by ISKP were not disclosed, it was noted that the privacy-focused coin Monero was not involved. A separate report by TRM indicated the stablecoin Tether, often transacted on the Tron blockchain, is favored by terrorists.
In the past year, Binance’s investigations team has addressed over 47,000 law enforcement requests, responding within an average of three days, a rate they claim surpasses traditional financial institutions.
This development underscores the increasing collaboration between cryptocurrency platforms and global law enforcement agencies in combating financial crimes and ensuring a safer digital financial landscape.
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