Indonesia: Islamic State raising money through WhatsApp, Twitter, Bitcoin and PayPal

Robbing banks, dealing drugs, stealing motorcycles these are the kind of activities popularly associated with the world of terrorist group funding. But to the modern jihadi they?re all a little pass�.

ATM smash and grabs, thefts and laundering money from front charities may have been all the rage as recently as 2014, but since 2015 online donations have been the avenue of choice for Islamic State supporting groups hoping to finance attacks in Indonesia, the world?s most populous Muslim-majority nation.

That?s according to a new joint study by the country?s National Counterterrorism Agency, State Intelligence Agency, and Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK), which examined the banking transactions involved in terror cases between 2014 and August 2017.

?Terror groups now call for donations through social media [and messaging platforms] such as WhatsApp groups or Twitter,? said Kiagus Ahmad Badarudin, chairman of the PPATK. Bitcoin and PayPal are also used to move their money.?

Social media appealed to terrorists because it was practical, easy and borderless, Badarudin said. Most donations over social media were small, ranging from US$100-US$1,000, but the flow of aid was continuous and tough to track, he said.

Terror cells were also receiving contributions from legal businesses such as small-scale merchants and phone credit sellers, Badarudin added.

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