OSINT Ben Strickland Uses Blockchain to Track Paramilitaries and Terrorists


Ben Strickland Tracks Paramilitaries and Terrorists Using Blockchain Technology

Bitcoin and other virtual currencies have been linked several times with criminals and terrorists. However, the technology behind Bitcoin, blockchain, can be used to track kidnappers and jihadists.

This is what Ben Strickland is doing. He uses OSINT (open source intelligence) in order to trace crypto transactions that are related to paramilitaries, extortionists and criminal organizations.

Back in June, he wrote a blog post in which he explains what he does and how he is able to trace kidnappers and Jihadi cells. He says that he has done everything by learning online. He mentions that the most important tool that he uses is the blockchain.

During a conversation with a recognized cryptocurrency news site, he said that he uses open source data for his investigation, including YouTube videos, blockchain data and social media post.

About it he mentioned:

“I started by looking at a jihadist group that were requesting donations from the public through the typical channels groups like that generally operate on (Telegram, Twitter). Doing the same as I do with human right abuses, I looked at all of the data available. It became apparent to me than an address linked to their account was linked to a kidnapping in South Africa.”

Then, he was able to find several Facebook account with similar setups that were showing how much money they made. And indeed, he was able to find a South African exchange that was connected to all these transactions.

He explained that there were several crypto crimes taking place in the market. In order to learn more about them, it is possible to enter to BitcoinWhosWho, which is able to identify bitcoin addresses and scams. Indeed, there are between 10 to 30 reported cases of secual exortion, according to Strickland.

It is important for people that is involved in searching these criminals to be aware of the methods that can be used to track these crimes.

He said that blockchain should allow everyone to identify wrongdoing without specialized equipment and resources. Nowadays, it is possible to support virtual currencies, blockchain technology and work in order not to let criminals spread.

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