“Dark Web” Site Aims to Finance Assassinations

Crowd-sourcing is typically used to finance start-ups, political campaigns, and creative ventures. A new website, however, claims to be pooling digital funds for the targeted killings of world leaders and public figures.

The “Assassination Market” uses encrypted Tor software to enable users to anonymously submit cyber-currency bounties for the murders of politicians and public officials, reports Forbes. Like the infamous Silk Road drug dealing website, the Assassination Market uses a decentralized and deregulated virtual currency, the Bitcoin, to fund its illegal activities. 

According to Forbes, the figure behind the Assassination Market, Kuwabatake Sanjuro is a self-described “crypto-anarchist” who created the four-month-old website to dismantle governments around the world. The black marketplace allows hits on any politician, bureaucrat, regulator or lobbyist. Requested attacks on “doctors for performing abortions and Justin Bieber for making annoying music” are denied.

“Sanjuro” says his pseudonym refers to a Samurai protagonist in the movie “Yojimbo” and pays homage to the creators of the Silk Road and the Bitcoin. He said that he hopes the website will improve society by dismantling governments around the world. 

In an encrypted email to a Forbes staff writer, he explains, “Thanks to this system, a world without wars, dragnet panopticon-style surveillance, nuclear weapons, armies, repression, money manipulation, and limits to trade is firmly within our grasp for but a few bitcoins per person.”

Interested assassins are asked to electronically imbed the date they will murder their target into a Bitcoin donation as future proof that they performed the deed. They will then allegedly be paid the collected pool of funds upon completion of an attack. Sanjuro says he will take one percent of the bounty for commission, reports Forbes.

Six targets are presently on the site, including the director of the US National Security Agency, the Prime Minister of Finland, and US President Barack Obama. The largest bounty, currently worth more than US$75,000, is for Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve.

According to Sanjuro, the motivation behind the site is not monetary nor does he intend for it to be a permanent marketplace for assassination. Rather, it comes as a response to what he sees as oppressive government surveillance. 

In his email to Forbes, Sanjuro said, “as soon as a few politicians gets offed and they realize they’ve lost the war on privacy, the killings can stop and we can transition to a phase of peace, privacy and laissez-faire.”