ADL Alerts Federal Government Terrorists May Use "E-Currency" to Transfer Funds on Internet
New York, NY, January 21, 2003 … As the government moves to freeze the finances of terror groups and their supporters, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today alerted the U.S. Customs Service that terrorists may seek to conceal financial transactions using a unique form of online currency.
The potential abuse by terrorists of an Internet currency that enables deposits and transfers of precious metals using online trading accounts, "merits serious attention" by those government agencies who track sources of terrorist financing, said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
"While we know of no links between e-currency and terrorism at the present time, e-currency merits serious attention given the record of Internet use by terrorists and the abuse of similar devices by domestic extremists," said Mr. Foxman.
In a letter to U.S. Customs Commissioner Robert C. Bonner, ADL said that terrorists may find e-currency appealing because it enables large amounts of currency to be exchanged electronically without leaving a record of the transaction. Because of its anonymity, economists and Secret Service officials have recently expressed concern about the potential for money laundering using e-currency channels.
About half of the system's physical reserves are located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, apparently for financial reasons, but also to help in the marketing of e-dinar, which was launched in September 2000. E-dinar is affiliated with the Islamic Mint, a private organization dedicated to reviving gold and silver currencies described in the Quran.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.