In what the Justice Department calls the first case of its kind, the United States has charged a Kosovo citizen with computer hacking and handing over the personal information of more than 1,300 U.S. military members to Islamic State.
Authorities in Malaysia arrested Ardit Ferizi on a U.S. warrant. The Justice Department will seek his extradition to the U.S.
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 addressees ... 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 federal military and civilian workers. It is not yet clear whether any Americans were harmed as a direct result of the stolen information.
Ferizi faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.