Terrorists Seek $110,000 Bitcoin (BTC) Ransom
Per an exclusive report from NLTimes, a Netherlands-based media outlet for English readers, supposed “terrorists” have emailed a handful of Amsterdam-based businesses, such as local cafes, asking for a ransom to be paid in Bitcoin (BTC). The anonymous terror group, which may or may not be legitimate, threatened the aforementioned businesses with hand grenades and mass shootings if a ransom of 50,000 Euros worth of Bitcoin (8.94 BTC) isn’t paid.
These messages have since been seen by local Dutch authorities, who are now reportedly researching into this odd matter. Interestingly, the terrorist’s threatening emails, which a local television station has access to, were first sent to at least three cafes and a local club in May 2018.
The warning, which cited Amsterdam’s recently-implemented bylaws and responsibility to forcefully shutter businesses that have undergone a shooting or bombing, noted:
You probably noticed how many entrepreneurs have had to close their doors recently by order of the municipality. To prevent you from being the next one, you must immediately take action.
The message then told the victimized business owners to open an account on Coinmama or Coinbase, two prominent fiat-to-crypto platforms, to spend the aforementioned sum on BTC, and then to send it to an undisclosed address that is obviously owned by the felons.
Interestingly, the message obtained by AT5, the aforementioned Dutch T.V. network, also claimed that the requested ransom would double every week, with the presumed terrorists adding — “if we do not receive the amount of 100k within 5 days, we will make sure that you can close your doors. This can be done by shooting a bullet into your facade or tying a grenade to the front door.”
Closing the ominous email, the author of the message claimed that if this threat was shared and disclosed, another attack would be in the works, adding that the ransom could move to 200,000 Euros.
Although the threat’s author painted a foreboding picture, the coffee shops targeted have seemingly been unfazed. Maurice Veldman, a local lawyer working on this case of alleged terrorism, claimed that the victimized businesses he has contacted were not impressed by the email, elaborating to NLTimes:
These types of threats are not taken seriously. They are very easy to make. But we have to report this, because coffeeshops signed a covenant with the mayor, which states that they are obliged to report everything related to safety.
Veldman added that no BTC ransoms have been paid as of yet, further alluding to the fact that the email could have been nothing more than a poorly put-together threat or an elaborate ruse.
Surprisingly, however, Amsterdam’s businesses as a collective are no stranger to hand grenades. In August alone, there were reportedly five incidents involving grenades in Amsterdam, some of which exploded in local places of business. Just last week, a number of hand grenades, explosive devices, and a Molotov were found across the city of 820,000.
While domestic terrorism is evidently a threat to Amsterdam, it seems that the aforementioned case with the Bitcoin-hungry cybercriminals is having trouble staying afloat because as of the time of press, the victims have yet to receive further contact from the terrorists.
Title Image Courtesy of Piotr Chrobot on Unsplash