Spanish police have claimed that investigating crypto is difficult after arresting a “crypto-jihadist” in Barcelona suspected of owning various crypto addresses linked to terrorist networks funding ISIS.
According to Spain’s Ministry of Interior (MoI), the man was operating various crypto addresses linked to three international terrorist financing networks that fund DAESH — the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
The ministry stated that the use of crypto as a financing tool “promoted by fully specialized crypto-jihadists severely complicate the investigations of the security services.”
The MoI also emphasized the importance of international cooperation, calling it “one of the most decisive instruments to be able to neutralize these networks.” According to the ministry, the ISIS network and its “large economic movements” meant that authorities needed to work closely with the French DGSI, the American FBI, the Swedish SÄPO, and Europol.
Spanish police previously arrested five individuals suspected of financing jihadists with crypto and plotting two terror attacks. Two hundred thousand euros ($217,000) worth of crypto was reportedly seized from the group.
Yesterday’s announcement claimed the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic served as a catalyst event for terrorists as they attempted to compensate for a “loss of personal mobility that was restricted in several countries,” by adapting to crypto.
The man arrested in Barcelona is currently in custody and will be moved to a provisional prison.