Per an Aug. 13 announcement from the United States Department of Justice, the authorities have seized millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency from over 300 accounts.
The announcement does not specify the specific amount, but does identify the operation as the largest to target terrorist funding in cryptocurrency.
A wide range of agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the IRS were involved in the campaign. The campaign shut down several websites and Facebook pages that either overtly or, in the case of one fraudulent site selling medical masks, covertly gathered funds for terrorist operations.
According to chief of criminal investigation Don Fort, the IRS used its new crypto tracking capabilities to locate the funds involved:
“IRS-CI’s ability to trace funds used by terrorist groups to their source and dismantle these radical group’s communication and financial networks directly prevents them from wreaking havoc throughout the world.”
It was just over a month ago that the IRS was asking for new tools to monitor privacy coin transactions.
Given that at least one of the images in the DoJ that featured a Bitcoin address belonging to an ISIS affiliate has been floating around government channels for over a year, these are clearly long-term capabilities that the agencies involved have worked to build out.