Ardit Ferizi, an accomplished hacker and Islamic State associate, pleaded guilty to providing material support to a terrorist organization on Wednesday in a U.S. court.
Ferizi, often known by his Internet moniker Th3Dir3ctorY, is believed to lead a notorious hacking syndicate called Kosova Hacker’s Security. The U.S. government alleges Kerizi provided personal information, including addresses and email passwords, to Junaid Hussain, a senior ISIS commander, in 2015. Hussain was killed in a drone strike in Raqqa in August, 2015. (RELATED: ISIS Hacker That Exposed US Troops Killed By Drone Strike)
Just weeks prior to his death, Hussain crowed to social media followers that Islamic State had conducted a successful hack of a U.S. military server. “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,” the message read.
On Wednesday, Ferizi pleaded guilty to conducting the hack and supplying the data directly to Hussain.
“Ardit Ferizi launched a cyberattack to gain access to the identities of U.S. military personnel, which he shared with members of ISIL in an attempt to incite terror attacks,” said Paul Abbate, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “No matter how a person supports a terrorist group like ISIL, whether on the battlefield or in the cyber world, the FBI will identify, disrupt and bring them to justice for placing lives at risk.”
Ferizi was arrested in Kuala Lumpur in 2015 at the behest of the U.S. Department of Justice. He was extradited to the United States shortly thereafter. He entered Malaysia in August, 2014, to study computer science.
He will be sentenced during proceedings in September, and faces up to 20 years in prison.
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