IS-linked hacker makes first appearance in US court

IS-linked hacker makes first appearance in US court
Ardit Ferizi is accused of sending details of US military personnel to Islamic State group militants.
1 min read
28 January, 2016
Ferizi was extradited from Malaysia [Getty stock image]

A Kosovan citizen accused of hacking the personal data of US military personnel and sending information on to the Islamic State group made his first appearance in front of a US court this week.

Ardit Ferizi, who was extradited to the US after detention in Malaysia last year, faces a maximum sentence of 35 years if found guilty of the charges brought against him. 

The 20-year-old is believed to have hacked the computer server of an online retailer, which provided the records of 1,351 US military personnel that were later passed on to the IS group.

According to the court records, Ferizi sent a number of messages to IS members via Twitter, including to Junaid Hussian, a British member of the group who was later killed in a drone strike.

Using the compromised data, Hussain shared links on Twitter to more than a thousand names, locations, email addresses and phone numbers of US army personnel.

Thought to be the leader of a Kosovar hackers' group, Ferizi is one of around 80 individuals who have been arrested for IS-related crimes in the past two years in the US. Officials have described this case in particular as the "first of its kind". 

Ferizi will reappear in court on Friday, where he will be assisted by an Albanian interpreter.