Australia

Australia investigates Islamic State 'hit list' claims

Silhouette of militant fighters Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Australia is investigating alleged militant online hacking activity

Authorities are investigating claims the so-called Islamic State (IS) has published information about Australian officials, urging attacks on them.

A group claiming links to IS had allegedly obtained and published online data mostly about US defence officials.

The Australian government has confirmed at least eight Australians are on the list, including an MP.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said intelligence agencies were looking into the threats.

He said the list contained up to 1500 individuals including "at least eight Australians", he said on Thursday.

"If there was any threat to any Australians' physical security then obviously we would take the appropriate action to make sure that people are safe," Mr Keenan said.

Data spreadsheet

In a statement to the BBC, the Australian Federal Police said it was working with other agencies on the claims about an IS hacking division posting a spreadsheet of personal details on social media.

"The AFP is aware of today's claims by a group calling itself the Islamic State Hacking Division," it said in a statement.

"As with all matters that could potentially impact safety and security, the AFP will liaise with its Federal government and state and territory partner agencies in regard to appropriate activities in response to this," it said.

Fairfax Media reported the list included personal information of Australian Defence Force employees and their relatives, as well as an MP from the state of Victoria, and some public servants.

An alleged spreadsheet of data included peoples' mobile phone numbers, email addresses, internet passwords and home addresses.

The Defence Department declined to comment.

IS reportedly was bragging on Wednesday on social media about publication of the data.

It warned people on the list it was forwarding their personal information to "soldiers of the khilafah [caliphate], who will soon with the permission of Allah will strike at your necks in your own lands", reported Fairfax Media.

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