US lawmakers want more info on massive terrorism-linked digital currency bust

Two Democrats have asked the White House to provide further details on a recent significant seizure of digital currencies, which has been linked to one of the world’s largest terrorist organizations.

Lawmakers Josh Gottheimer and Emanuel Cleaver asked the U.S. cabinet to report more information about the seizure, which reportedly affected the BTC holdings of terrorist groups al-Qaeda, ISIS, and al-Qassam.

Described as the “largest-ever terrorist seizure of cryptocurrencies” with values running into “millions of dollars”, the bust affected some 300 accounts linked to the terrorist groups.

In their request, as reported by The Hill, the lawmakers said that it was vital members of the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy were sufficiently briefed by the administration on the matter.

“It is vital that Members of the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy receive a briefing, at the appropriate classification level, on this action, the largest ever seizure of online terrorist financing, from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury on this investigation.”

They went on to say the Treasury should publish an assessment of its approach to tackling financial crimes of this nature, and of the controls in place to prevent digital currency being used for terrorism financing purposes.

“This will further inform the Subcommittee on what legislative actions we should be undertaking to provide regulators and law enforcement the proper resources and tools to continue to address the illicit use of cryptocurrency and disrupt terrorist organizations’ financial networks.”

The news will likely come as little surprise to law enforcement agencies, with terrorist groups increasingly turning to digital currency in recent years to evade financial sanctions. Flying under the radar of the authorities, the matter is increasing pressure on lawmakers to improve transparency and control in digital currency markets.

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