The families of hostages and victims of Hamas’ barbaric attack on Israel on 7 October last year have filed a lawsuit against crypto exchange Binance for facilitating transactions for the terrorist groups in the region. The lawsuit also named Binance’s former CEO, Changpeng Zhao, and the states of Iran and Syria.
Hamas Victims Go to Court
Filed yesterday (Wednesday) at the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, the complaint was “brought by and on behalf of United States citizens who were murdered, maimed, taken hostage, or otherwise injured in unspeakable acts of terror perpetrated by Hamas and other terrorist groups in the State of Israel on October 7, 2023.”
The lawsuit further detailed that “at least thirty United States citizens (including family members of Plaintiffs) were murdered in the attacks, out of a total of approximately 1,200 fatalities. At least ten Americans, including several of the Plaintiffs, were taken hostage.”
The plaintiffs, which include former hostages, family members of the victims, and the estate of a doctor who was killed while treating casualties, are seeking damages under the United States Anti-Terrorism Act. The lawsuit claims that the defendants “provided substantial assistance to the terrorists.”
The lawsuit named Iran as it is “a state sponsor of Hamas and co-planner of the October 7 Terrorist Attacks,” and Syria as it “provided weapons and funding to Hamas.” Binance was named as the crypto exchange, then under the leadership of Zhao, “provided a funding mechanism for Hamas and other terrorists and concealed vital information about this from U.S. regulators and the public” for years.
Hamas and Crypto
Many reports suggest that Hamas and other such groups in the region received massive funding in cryptocurrencies, which were even used in planning and executing the terror attack on 7 October. A Wall Street Journal report revealed that Hamas received $41 million in cryptocurrencies over the past few years, while Palestinian Islamic Jihad, one of the groups responsible for seizing Israeli hostages, collected $93 million worth of cryptocurrencies. However, according to blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, these numbers are inflated.
Immediately after the attack on 7 October, Israeli authorities cracked down on the financial backbone of Hamas and other such groups. Binance also cooperated in locating the Hamas-linked accounts and withdrawing the funds into the Israeli state coffers.
Earlier to the attack on 7 October, Israeli authorities confiscated 189 cryptocurrency accounts from Binance for their links to Palestinian and Islamist terror groups since 2021. Three Palestinian currency exchange firms held those proxy accounts.This article was written by Arnab Shome at www.financemagnates.com.
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