The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an alert warning financial institutions to be vigilant toward identifying funding streams supporting Hamas in its attacks against Israel.
The alert from FinCEN, published Friday, follows two weeks of conflict initiated by a Hamas attack on Israel that left more than 1,000 civilians wounded, killed, or taken hostage. The U.S. Department of State has viewed Hamas as a foreign terrorist organization since 1997; the group is already subject to counterterrorism-geared sanctions by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
FinCEN said it is working with foreign counterparts to deny Hamas the ability to raise and use funds worldwide. The agency listed the following red flag indicators related to the group’s terrorist financing activity:
- Transactions that contain a nexus to identifiers listed for OFAC-designated entities and individuals;
- Transaction information that indicates support for terrorist campaigns;
- Transactions with financial institutions, including those with virtual currency offerings, that operate in high-risk jurisdictions tied to Hamas activity;
- Transactions linked to entities that are shell corporations and other companies with a nexus to Iran; and
- Charitable or nonprofit organizations that appear to support Hamas’s operations and/or receive large donations from unknown sources over a short period of time and redistribute those donations among other such organizations.
“Financial institutions, including virtual asset service providers, should identify and report suspicious transactions associated with Hamas’s financing as quickly as possible,” the agency said.