On Telegram, Rival Jihadis Accuse Ha'yat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Of Banning Foreign Fighters From Trading In Bitcoin, Conducting Currency Exchanges On Telegram

November 8, 2021

On November 5, 2021, an anti-Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Telegram channel shared a recent circular issued by The Public Monetary Authority of the HTS-backed Salvation Government, addressed to all currency exchange businesses located in HTS-controlled areas. The circular bans all currency exchanges conducted on Telegram, claiming that it negatively impacts the business of licensed currency exchange establishments.The circular further noted that these "unofficial" currency exchange practices are unlawful and encourage violations.

The Telegram channel described the decision as a "new oppressive measure by HTS, which seeks to threaten or pursue those who take part in community discussions on Telegram about the exchange rate of the Turkish Lira and the U.S. dollar."

It is worth noting that on September 30, 2021, a Kuwaiti-born former religious official who defected from the precursor to HTS, Jabhat Fath Al-Sham, in 2017, published a post claiming that due to HTS's neglect of foreign jihadis, many decided to trade in Bitcoin to earn their living. However, said the post, HTS continued to harass them, closing their businesses.

 

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