- Lawmakers sent a letter to Yellen and Garland asking how much crypto Hamas has raised to fund terrorism and how much the U.S. has seized.
- The bipartisan letter cites reports that Hamas may have raised hundreds of thousands in crypto but the sources are unclear.
- Lawmakers want detailed information on the scope of Hamas’ crypto fundraising and U.S. efforts to counter it, with responses requested by Sept. 19.
Lawmakers want to know to what extent Hamas may actually be raising crypto funds to finance terrorism, and what role the U.S. has had in seizing those funds.
A group of crypto-friendly U.S. lawmakers have written to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Attorney General Merrick Garland asking for more details about how the Palestinian group Hamas may be using cryptocurrencies to fund terrorist activities.
In an Aug. 18 letter led by Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), the lawmakers asked Yellen and Garland to provide more information about how much crypto Hamas may have raised as well as how much has been seized by U.S. law enforcement agencies.
Details of the Letter
The letter cites reports that Hamas may have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies but notes the sources of these reports are unclear. The lawmakers want the Treasury and Justice Departments to provide “a detailed analysis on the scope of Hamas’ cryptocurrency fundraising and the United States Government’s efforts to counter this financing.”
Specifically, the letter asks:
- How much cryptocurrency has Hamas raised?
- How much has been seized by the U.S. government?
- What blockchain analytics tools are being used to track these funds?
- What legislative changes could help law enforcement counter this financing?
The lawmakers want answers to these questions by Sept. 19.
The letter highlights how lawmakers are concerned about potential terrorist uses of cryptocurrency and want more transparency from government agencies. The responses could shape future legislation or funding related to tracking illicit crypto flows.
Lawmakers Signing the Letter
In addition to Emmer, the letter was signed by Reps. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Darren Soto (D-Fla.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), and Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.).
This bipartisan group of lawmakers have been active in crypto-related policymaking, such as developing a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets. Their letter reflects continued interest in this issue.
The lawmakers’ request comes as the Biden administration is increasingly focused on cracking down on terrorist financing, including via cryptocurrencies. The responses from Yellen and Garland could provide more details on how grave the threat really is from Hamas’ crypto fundraising efforts.