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ISIS Creates First-Ever Jihadist NFT to Fund Terrorist Activities

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A DIGITAL image commemorating a jihadist attack on a Taliban position in Afghanistan by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has been deemed the first-ever jihadist non-fungible token (NFT), according to U.S. intelligence officials.

According to intelligence officials consulted by The Wall Street Journal, ISIS along with other terrorist groups are preparing to use emerging financial technology to evade Western banking controls to finance their terrorist activity.

The jihadist NFT is visible on an NFT trading site and is titled “IS-NEWS #01,” bears an Islamic State emblem and was apparently created as an experiment to test the feasibility of raising resources through new means of financing. In August, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) raised concerns about how these new financial technologies could be used by terrorist or lawless organizations.

An NFT is a piece of information stored in a decentralized database known as blockchain. The technology emerged as a way to track and value digital assets; however, its uses are expanding to other aspects such as digital art, concert ticketing, and even patents.

It seems that the IS-NEWS #01 token does not appear to have been purchased, however, the existence of this NFT in a decentralized network makes it impossible for the Department of Justice to remove the token from circulation on the Internet, unlike a fake news story for propaganda purposes that may be circulating on some fraudulent news site.

The only way law enforcement agencies have to prevent the circulation of jihadist NFT on the Internet is to force social media platforms to delete any links that direct to the Islamic State token, but other than that, they have no other tools to prevent the spread of this NFT and others throughout the blockchain.

Islamic State seeks new financing sources

The Islamic State has lost most of the territory it conquered in Iraq and Syria, its forces heavily harassed by a coalition of countries, including the United States and Russia itself, have been considerably depleted since 2017.

Western security agencies have been successful in disabling the terrorist group’s ability to fund itself by blocking its social media fundraising propaganda sites, among other funding channels available to the Islamic State.

The United States fears that the remnants of the Islamic State are attempting to create new funding channels through the use of financial instruments beyond the reach of U.S. regulators, including NFTs. In addition to the terrorist group, U.S. authorities fear that in the future other criminal organizations may attempt to use these new technologies as a means to raise funds for their illicit activities without the U.S. being able to prevent it.

Economist, writer and liberal. With a focus on finance, the war on drugs, history, and geopolitics // Economista, escritor y liberal. Con enfoque en finanzas, guerra contra las drogas, historia y geopolítica

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