Broadstairs bitcoin pioneer investigated by anti-terror police

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A programmer who pioneered digital currency bitcoin and had been living in Broadstairs is reportedly under investigation by anti-terrorism police.

London-born Amir Taaki, 29, developed the ‘dark wallet’ which allowed people to keep their identity under wraps when using bitcoin.

In 2014 Forbes listed Taaki in their top 30 entrepreneurs of the year but in 2015 Mr Taaki disappeared after joining Kurdish PKK units fighting Islamic State in Syria.

Mr Taaki  hoped to share his skills in Syria and support the Kurds in a bid for peace in the Middle East but told Wired magazine that instead he spent three months fighting in long range incidents before being moved to help with language lessons and teach people to use computers and the internet.

Wired reports that Mr Taaki, a former professional poker player, also developed a political study course for foreign supporters of Rojava and was involved in building a fertiliser factory and a solar power project.

Mr Taaki returned to the UK last May. He was arrested by anti-terrorism police and computers and phones were seized.

The BBC reports that he has been on police bail since the arrest.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said the force does not  identify people who may or may not be subject to a police investigation.

They added: “British citizens involved in terrorism in Syria and other conflict zones have the potential to pose a significant threat to the UK upon their return. Everyone who returns from taking part in the conflict in Syria or Iraq must expect to be reviewed by the police to determine if they have committed criminal offences and to ensure that they do not pose a threat to our national security;

“Those who have committed criminal offences should expect to be prosecuted for their crimes under the full range of existing counter terrorism legislation. However, any decision on whether to prosecute will be taken by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service on a case by case basis.”