Investigations carried out by the Indonesian Financial Transactions Report and Analysis Center have revealed that Islamic State-sponsored militants use Bitcoin and Paypal to finance terrorism attacks on Indonesian targets and people, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Kiagus Badaruddin, chairman of the Indonesian Financial Transactions Center noted that terrorists “used virtual money because that would make it harder for us to track the transaction.” The financial report and analysis center directly reports to Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
About 12 cases of foreign terrorists using bitcoin and Paypal to finance terrorist attacks in Indonesia were detected in 2015 and another 25 investigated last year. Badaruddin stated that his agency would work more with the Ministry of Communications and Informatics as well as the country’s central bank and online payment gateways to detect more cases of unknown terrorism financings.
Just recently, an Indonesian named Bahrun Naim but based in Syria had been found to receive money from Islamic State and then send same back home to Indonesia via bitcoin and Paypal to sponsor and coordinate terror attacks. Militant recipients receive the money and then exchange it for cash to be able to spend them for terror funding.
Naim is not the only Indonesian Syria-based terrorist doing this, there are several other donors using online payment systems to fund terror attacks back home and the government is fast on their heels to get them contained or neutralized.
“We are in contact with the relevant authorities to ensure that we are taking all appropriate actions” to combat terrorism financing and other similar acts, PayPay responded in a statement. This is actually a confirmation that Paypal consents that it could be used to fund terror activities across many lands.
No one will speak for Bitcoin in this regard since the virtual currency has no central authority or office, it is operated via a complex network of computers from across the world. The central bank of Indonesia does not accredit Bitcoin as a legal way of conducting transactions, but millions of people in the country use the cryptocurrency to run online transactions.