A Dark Web site operator offering murder-for-hire services becomes an FBI informant
The dark web has become a legendary presence in modern civilization as the corner of the Internet where laws can be ignored and anything from drugs, guns and even killers can be bought. Recently released court documents show how a website claiming to offer murder-for-hire services on the dark web acted as an FBI informant.
In February 2020, the anonymous website operator on the dark web revealed a $5,000 order to the FBI in Washington state, saying, "I feel that all paid targets are in danger and this client is demanding to kill someone and paying for it, showing that he is serious about killing that person. "The informant provided the FBI with target information, evidence of payment and other information used to track the client. Although the client did not provide their real name or details and hid their IP address, they could still be tracked," the informant said. "The informants who provided the tip information to the FBI are unidentified, and it is unclear whether the FBI knows their true identities.
The informant from the dark web told FBI agents that he received an order from the target address in Bellevue, Washington, and received a message from the buyer that read, "Kill her as soon as possible," according to the FBI arrest warrant disclosure. I don't care what method you use, just make sure she's dead. I want you to shoot her in the head. She works at [the company] in Bellevue, but I don't know the exact location. I don't know if that's going to help you. She has a 3 year old son and she picks him up at 5pm, so she usually gets home around 5pm. Please don't do anything to the child ……. Send me a certificate when the job is done." On Feb. 4, 2020, the buyer paid 0.53 bitcoin (worth about $5,000 at the time) to the tipster's wallet, law enforcement said.
When the FBI identified the unnamed target, agents interviewed her to determine who might want her dead, the agency wrote in the search warrant. The agency said they learned that her husband was having an affair with a woman he met at a conference. Not only did he have an affair with the woman, but he also gave her money, and on one occasion she demanded $5,000 from him.
In search warrants issued for the Microsoft and Gmail email accounts, the husband's new partner was identified as the prime suspect and admitted to investigators that she booked the services of the dark web attack. the FBI did not release the names of the suspects because no charges have been filed.
According to the interview relayed in the search warrant, the suspect said she used an "old phone" to recruit hit men to carry out the attacks and downloaded an application, believed to be the Tor browser, on her phone to hide her identity. She said she tried to stop the attack but was unable to because she was unable to access the site after giving the order, the FBI wrote.
Before she was investigated, the suspect had visited the victim's home in December 2019 and told her husband she had planned to murder his wife with a knife, although she told agents she did not mean to and was not armed, the FBI said, and the FBI learned that information from the investigation. The victim also received photos via Facebook showing her husband and the suspect kissing, which is believed to have been planned by the suspect, according to the search warrant.
After she decided to hire the hitman, the suspect said she used a Bitcoin ATM and visited various dark web hitman-for-hire sites, choosing one that did not require identifying information such as a driver's license. She complained to the operator of the dark web site about why the attack didn't happen, and the informant replied that the hired hitman had been arrested and they were trying to find another person to do the job, according to the search warrant.
The FBI said the informant had also already revealed to it another kill order, but did not provide any details.
Typically, murder-for-hire dark Web sites have proven to be hoaxes. But last year, Europol said an Italian man paid $12,000 in cryptocurrency to a dark web hitman to attack his ex-girlfriend with acid and put her in a wheelchair. After launching an "urgent and sophisticated cryptanalysis to be able to trace and identify the provider," Europol managed to trace the payment and stop the attack.
From：On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
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