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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

‘Help for Sisters’: A Look at Crowdfunding Campaigns with Potential Links to Terrorist and Criminal Networks

Terrorist and violent extremist groups have long used charitable giving as a means to amass and disguise support for their causes and members. The problem persists today, though the online environment, social media, and various financial technologies afford new, easy-to-access opportunities to those willing to donate money through online campaigns. In the cases of some fundraising efforts, it can be hard to determine the authenticity of various donors and facilitators, and whether they have legitimate links to terrorist networks. Ultimately, however, the continued proliferation of crowdfunding campaigns among pro-Islamic State (IS) online networks alone suggests that the matter deserves more attention from policymakers, practitioners, and academics.

This article focuses on a handful of fundraising efforts for IS-affiliated persons held in Kurdish-run detention facilities in Northeastern Syria, particularly foreign women in camps like al-Hol. Capital raised through crowdfunding initiatives may seem inconsequential compared to other revenue schemes utilised by IS. Still, it is crucial to recognise how pop-up financial networks enabling IS-affiliates inside and outside these facilities can contribute to instability.

Read more at the Global Network on Extremism & Technology

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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