Man who allegedly gave hacked personal info to Islamic State appears in court

Revelation 6:3-4 NCV When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" Then another horse came out, a red one. Its rider was given power to take away peace (prosperity, rest) from the earth and to make people kill each other (butcher, slaughter, to maim violently, in streets), and he was given a big sword (assassins sword, terrorist, loud, mighty, sore afraid).

A man accused of hacking the personal information of more than 1,300 federal employees and military members and releasing them to the Islamic State made his first appearance in a United States court on Wednesday, prosecutors said.

Ardit Ferizi, a 20-year-old Kosovo citizen, faces charges related to terrorism, hacking and identity theft, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

Ferizi was living in Malaysia last October when local law enforcement detained him at the United States’ request, prosecutors said. He later waived extradition.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Ferizi is believed to be the leader of a Kosovar hacking group. He’s accused of hacking a United States-based online retailer’s server, stealing the personal information of about 100,000 people and then sending the data of 1,351 military personnel and federal employees to members of the Islamic State.

A pro-Islamic State Twitter account posted a link to the information in August, prosecutors allege, and “names, e-mail addresses, e-mail passwords, locations and phone numbers” of the 1,351 employees were visible in a 30-page document that included a warning message.

According to the complaint, part of the document stated: “we are in your emails and computer systems, watching and recording your every move, we have your names and addresses, we are in your emails and social media accounts, we are extracting confidential data and passing on your personal information to the soldiers of the khilafah, who soon with the permission of Allah will strike at your necks in your own lands!”

Court records indicate charges against Ferizi include providing material support to the Islamic State, unauthorized access to a computer and aggravated identity theft.

If convicted, prosecutors said he could face up to 35 years in prison.

“As alleged, Ardit Ferizi is a terrorist hacker who provided material support to ISIL by stealing the personally identifiable information of U.S. service members and federal employees and providing it to ISIL for use against those employees,” Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin said in a statement released after Ferizi was arrested in October. “This case is a first of its kind and, with these charges, we seek to hold Ferizi accountable for his theft of this information and his role in ISIL’s targeting of U.S. government employees.”

Ferizi is the latest individual who has been charged with Islamic State-related crimes in the United States. In December, a report from George Washington University’s Program on Extremism said at least 71 individuals were accused of such offenses since March 2014.

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