ISIS Hacker That Exposed US Troops In US Killed By Drone Strike

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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The U.S. military just killed a high-level terrorist recruiter and hacker for the Islamic State using a drone strike Tuesday, marking the continuation of a campaign to bring down the terrorist group’s leadership.

The hacker was Junaid Hussain, a British citizen who formerly lived in the U.K. and served as a prominent member of ISIS’ Cyber Caliphate, The Wall Street Journal reports. He was killed in Raqqa as soon as he stepped foot outside of a vehicle.

“This is a great intelligence success,” a U.S. official told CNN.

A former scofflaw, Hussain fled Britain in 2013 and took off to Syria in order to provide his expertise to ISIS. He quickly became a top recruiter for the group. One of his main roles was to encourage followers in the U.S. to target and kill military servicemembers and would often post the personal details of troops on Twitter, in an effort to spur ISIS adherents into action.

Military officials and the FBI took the threats seriously and at times had to place servicemembers targeted by Hussain under constant protection. Officials also believe Hussain played a role in hacking U.S. Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts in January and using them to broadcast pro-ISIS messages.

It was then that U.S. and UK officials decided that something needed to be done.

Why Hussain had the freedom to run to Syria in the first place remains an open question. In high school, Hussain joined a major hacking group called Team Poison and proceeded to rack up accomplishments, including a major hack of Scotland Yard. He was nabbed and convicted in 2012 of posting Prime Minister Tony Blair’s details on the Internet after he had obtained them from the email of a personal aide.

But a police report painted Hussain as a bored teenager, rather than one with terrorist sympathies.

When released in 2013, Hussain went on to reoffend. He was arrested for violence, which is when he fled to Syria after receiving bail.

Just last week, a drone strike took out Haji Mutazz, who operated as a top-level deputy to Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the leader of the organization.

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