Crypto: Binance and TRM Labs at the forefront of the fight against ISIS



Recently, the crypto exchange Binance and the intelligence firm TRM Labs played a key role in identifying a number of individuals connected with the ISIS terrorist movement.

Their work helped Tajikistan law enforcement agencies arrest several people from Khorasan province including Shamil Hukumatov, a leading member of the Islamic State.

This news confirms the commitment of the two companies to work with local authorities around the world to combat crime within the blockchain landscape.

Below are all the details.

Crypto: Binance investigation team helps Tajikistan law enforcement agencies arrest ISIS members

A few days ago crypto exchange Binance and forensic analysis firm TRM Labs worked together with Tajikistan’s financial monitoring department to identify and arrest a number of individuals linked to the terrorist organization ISIS.

Binance officially communicated its involvement in the matter through a blog post, which highlighted its key role in enabling local law enforcement to intervene within the province of Khorasan (IKSP).

A daily routine scan on threats in the open source world allowed the exchange’s investigative team to notice a strange Telegram group that terrorists were using to communicate.  

Through that information, Binance analysts were able to identify a crypto wallet that was being leveraged by ISIS to receive donations.

It is unclear how they then came to locate members of the Islamic State, but presumably consulting the KYC information of the platform’s suspicious clients and tracking their linked IP addresses led to their capture.

Those arrested include a prominent ISIS figure, namely Shamil Hukumatov, who has been engaged in recruiting new recruits for the paramilitary organization and money laundering in recent years. 

Hukumatov was apprehended in Istanbul along with his wife through a police raid on his home, where documents and information related to the Afghan group’s activities were found.

Once again, Binance’s dedication and commitment to fighting financial crimes within blockchain environments is confirmed, with a view to making the crypto ecosystem a safer place. 

The exchange itself commented on the accomplishment of their work this way:

“These ISKP members have been actively involved in planning upcoming attacks, and their arrests are considered a huge win for counterterrorism efforts both regionally and globally.”

Markus Thielen, head of research at Matrixport, believes that as a result of Binance’s numerous interventions in collaboration with law enforcement to block illicit activity, malicious users will begin to use decentralized mixers like Tornado Cash more frequently to protect their privacy.

The blockchain is a public place and totally traceable, but these platforms allow users to lose track of their movements in crypto by increasing the privacy of transactions. 

In any case, authorities may soon block these kinds of platforms: last year Tornado Cash was sanctioned by the US Treasury and a few days ago the last two founders of the project were arrested.

TRM Labs’ role in the affair

TRM Labs has played a crucial role along with Binance in the affair involving the arrest of several members of the ISIS terrorist group in Tajikistan and Turkey. 

Specifically, the intelligence firm, through monitoring transactions on blockchain and linking the flows to suspicious activity, has been able to identify a number of suspicious movements that took place on the Tron network.

Forensic work has revealed that many areas stretching from Syria to Central Asia have been the focus of a number of terrorist activities that have been financed through crypto donations with the USDT stablecoin.

In Pakistan and Afghanistan, crypto wallets were unearthed that recorded donations with the Islamic group, with respective volumes of $40,000 and $10,000.

In Indonesia, several addresses were held responsible for transiting approximately $517,000 at an exchange based in Indonesia with the goal of facilitating the paramilitary group’s funding in Syria.

By contrast, several pro-ISIS addresses in Tajikistan have been traced using cryptocurrency, including to recruit fighters to join the ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan (ISKP).

A fundraising campaign included in this network had received about $2 million in USDT on Tron throughout 2022.

By tracking the movements of the address and alerting the partner Binance, it was possible to block the assets in question and trace the identity of the campaign’s active party.

Tron’s blockchain is confirmed as one of the preferred cryptographic networks for users to transfer USDT, given the speed of execution of orders and the low cost in terms of fees.

Of course, it is not only terrorist groups such as ISIS that use the decentralized infrastructure, but also and especially ordinary users who take advantage of the benefits of the crypto world in a legitimate way.

Just think that there are more USDT on Tron than on Ethereum. In particular, Tether’s stablecoin has a supply of 42.83 billion units on Justin Sun’s network and 39 billion on that of Vitalik Buterin.

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