Cryptocurrency and Terrorism, as unlikely as it sounds as a pair, an online cryptocurrency crowdfunding platform for Mujahideen, participants of Jihad, has been recently found on Dark web.
Accessed via Tor browser, SadaqaCoins is much like other crowdfunding marketplaces but with a twist. Donors can donate Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Monero for the organization to purchase 4×4 pickup trucks, .50 caliber bolt action rifles and ammunition, wind readers for sniping, silencers, and even combat training for trainee jihadists.
‘Sadaqa’ is a form of an act of alms or charity while this particular use case of Sadaqa is different from the usual ones.
Notedly, the site’s Bitcoin wallet seems to be empty as of now, since the site also mentions zero donations yet, the site is just a month old now.
There are four ways to contribute to the project – advertisement, purchasing cryptocurrency for donation, mining crypto for donation and ‘hustling’. Hustling, here means the hack cryptocurrency from non-muslims in the lines of Ghanima, as taking ‘war booty’ from non-believers by force. The site quotes imam shafi stating:
“Ghanima is the property that the Muslims seize from the disbelievers by means of overpowering them.”
Sadaqacoins was brought out to public notice by Benjamin Strickland, an open source analyst who wrote a blog about it after a week of site’s launch.
Projects like ‘We Hunt’ have the donation amounts enlisted for items such as $550 for a .50 cal silencer, $8,800 for a 4×4 all-terrain pickup vehicle, Kestrel 4500NV weather reading equipment for wind speed info to snipers, Nikon p900 cameras for reconnaissance, ammunition of various types and calibers, sniper scopes, and sniper rifles for $4,400.
Other noticeable projects like ‘The Forgotten Sisters’ claims to raise money in order to free 5 imprisoned women in Syria, with their details and a crowdfunding goal of $14,850 for ransom.
Another project requires users to donate $220 for purchasing livestock for sacrificing for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha by SadqaCoins team on behalf of donors.
Terrorism Site or Cryptocurrency Scam?
Multiple projects on the site as well their official Twitter account suggest the firm be Syrian based.
The twitter account is following Syrian Investigative Journalists and experts, and the livestock mentioned on the site represents Syrian Farmer’s style of marking.
As for the credibility of the website and how much of a scam it is, there are many indicators towards its genuinity. Even Benjamin Strickland also pointed out the fact that on projects like We Hunt has itemized individual Bitcoin Addresses for each weapon type.
Also, multiple blog posts, FAQ page, about page and multiple projects indicates elaborate man hours spent with exclusive sophistication in the making of the site.
Concludingly, whether it is a scam or not, one aspect is clear with no evidence in opposing that its an online marketplace for funding terrorist activities.
Indeed, apart from the outlandishly modern premise of crowdfunding anonymous cryptocurrencies to fund terrorist activity in the Middle East, there’s really nothing to indicate that the site isn’t exactly what it claims to be – a dark web marketplace for funding terrorists.