Terrorist groups using Telegram to raise funds via cryptocurrencies - Report

Terrorist groups such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Hamas are using social media platforms, including Telegram, to raise funds via cryptocurrencies, according to new research.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a Washington-based nonprofit research organization, has issued a new report providing pieces of evidence, Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) reported Thursday.

The issue will only aggravate when Telegram launches its own blockchain, Telegram Open Network (TON), and native cryptocurrency Gram, MEMRI warned. Gram tokens are scheduled to launch by October.

Providing documented evidence, MEMRI said Hamas’ military wing Al-Qassam Brigades, used Telegram, Facebook and Twitter, to call on supporters worldwide to send funds using bitcoin on Jan. 29.

On March 26, Syria-based jihadi preacher Abdallah Al-Muhaysini posted a video on his Telegram channel calling on Muslims to support Hamas by donating funds using bitcoin, per the report.

MEMRI said that it has been briefing U.S. and other Western government agencies on their findings.  As a result, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov has been sent letters from U.S. Congress to take immediate action against these findings, per the report.