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Kosovo Man Charged With Hacking for IS Appears in US Court

  • VOA News

FILE - A man types in front of the logo of the "Kosova Hacker's Security" in this photo illustration taken in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Oct. 16, 2015.

FILE - A man types in front of the logo of the "Kosova Hacker's Security" in this photo illustration taken in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Oct. 16, 2015.

A man from Kosovo made his first appearance in U.S. federal court Wednesday on charges of hacking computers and giving information about more than 1,000 U.S. military members to Islamic State.

Ardit Ferizi faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.

Police in Malaysia arrested Ferizi on a U.S. warrant in October and extradited him to the United States

Federal prosecutors allege Ferizi used the alias "Th3Dir3ctorY" and ran an Internet hacking group called the Kosova Hacker's Security.

They say he broke into the computer system of a U.S.-based company and stole personal information on 1,351 U.S. military members and federal employees, and passed that information to the terrorists.

In August, an Islamic State member named Junaid Hussain sent out a Twitter message that contained a link to a longer document. That document said, "We are in your emails and computer systems, watching and recording your every move. We have your names and addresses. ... We are extracting confidential data and passing on your personal information to the soldiers of the khilafah [the political system that implements Islamic policies], who soon with the permissions of Allah will strike at your necks in your own lands."

The rest of the document listed the names, email addresses and telephone numbers of the U.S. personnel. It is not clear whether any Americans were harmed as a direct result of the stolen information.

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