A former computer science student accused of supporting the ISIL terrorist group has arrived in the US to face charges.
20-year-old Ardit Ferizi is charged with hacking crimes and providing support to a terrorist organization. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 35 years in federal prison.
The US Department of Justice and FBI believe that Ferizi was behind the theft and release of personal details on more than 1,000 US soldiers and government employees. The information, authorities charge, was given to a pair of ISIL members with the intent of use for attacks on the military and government personnel.
The stolen information included names, physical addresses, passwords, email addresses and phone numbers.
"Specifically, the [personally identifiable information] stolen by Ferizi was knowingly provided to ISIL to be used by ISIL members and supporters to conduct terrorist attacks against the US government employees whose names and addresses were published," the DOJ charges in its complaint.
Originally from Kosovo, Ferizi was studying computer science in Malaysia at the time the attacks occurred. The DOJ believes he was acting with other members of a Kosovan hacking team known as KHS, operating under the handle "Th3Dir3ctorY" when he breached the database of a US retailer and, combing through the records of 100,000 people, selected the military and government workers' records.
Ferizi was detained by Malaysian authorities in October, but was only flown to the US earlier this week to face trial. He is being tried in the US Eastern District Court in Virginia. ®