WASHINGTON DC (Agencies):The Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into whether “foreign actors” funded some of the rioters that breached the US Capitol on Jan. 6, NBC News cited an FBI official as saying, Sunday.
As part of the investigation, the FBI “is examining payments of $500,000 in bitcoin, apparently by a French national, to key figures and groups in the alt-right before the riot,” the report said.
The payments were documented and posted online by Chainanalysis, a company that analyzes cryptocurrency transfers.
NBC News said that the FBI |is investigating whether foreign governments, organizations or individuals provided funding to those that helped plan the riot.”
It further quoted French media reports as saying that the French national who made the payment died by suicide shortly after transferring the cryptocurrency.
Chainanalysis claimed that the majority of the payment went to far-right podcaster Nick Fuentes who received 13.5 BTC, or about $250,000.
Fuentes told ProPublica that he was at the rally, but didn’t enter the Capitol with the mob, NBC News said.
Earlier this week, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warned that Russian, Iranian and Chinese influence actors have “seized the opportunity to amplify narratives in furtherance of their policy interest amid the presidential transition,” according to NBC.
The FBI did not comment on the report.
Last week Michael Sherwin, acting US attorney for DC, said that officials were treating the investigation “just like a significant international counterterrorism or counterintelligence operation.
“We’re looking at everything: money, travel records, looking at disposition, movement and communication records,” he said.
“So no resource related to the FBI or the US attorney’s office will be unchecked in terms of trying to determine exactly if there was a command and control, how it operated and how they executed these activities.”