US & Canada

Hacker who aided IS sentenced to 20 years in US prison

A fighter of the so-called Islamic State group holds an IS flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, 23 June 2014 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Kosovan Ardit Ferizi handed a list of data on more than 1,000 US military personnel to IS

A 21-year-old has been sentenced to 20 years in prison in the US after passing details on American military personnel to so-called Islamic State (IS).

Ardit Ferizi from Kosovo pleaded guilty to charges of providing material support to America's enemies, at a court hearing in Virginia.

The computer hacker shared the personal data of more than 1,000 American military and government personnel.

The jail term imposed by the US court is the maximum sentence for his crime.

Ferizi, who was known online as Th3Dir3ctorY, was arrested in Malaysia in October 2015 and extradited to the US in January this year.

Speaking after the verdict, US Assistant Attorney General John Carlin described the attack as carrying a very real and dangerous threat to US national security.

In a statement in June, the US Department of Justice said the case was the first of its kind and represented "the nexus of the terror and cyber-threats".

It said Ferizi handed the list to IS knowing it could incite the group to attack the individuals named in it.

Information about the names, email addresses, passwords, locations and phone numbers for about 1,350 military personnel and federal staff came from several servers that Ferizi hacked into.

He targeted both machines in US government offices and corporate computers.

After he has served his sentence, he will be deported to Kosovo and barred from re-entering the US.

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