An ISIS-affiliated hacking group has released a hit list of targets, many in New York, who the terror organization is urging its members to “kill … wherever they are.” Federal officials have been in touch with the individuals named on the list, some of whom are U.S. military personnel who have been involved in drone strikes, but many of whom seem to be randomly selected. Indeed, the list includes the names and personal details of around 3,000 New Yorkers, in what many experts are calling the latest in the terror group’s psychological warfare.
A number of individuals named on the list, which was first uploaded to controversial messaging app Telegram by the United Cyber Caliphate, are associated with the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security, but the majority seem to be ordinary citizens who have recently been informed that ISIS allegedly has an eye on them. While officials say that it is most likely that the names were pulled at random from a series of much older, outdated lists, law enforcement has still taken precautions in dealing with those identified.
This is not the first time ISIS has published hit lists, but this latest instance is by far the most extensive. There seems to be little rhyme or reason to the supposed targets, however, which again leads officials and federal agents to believe that the release was meant more for fear-mongering than action. All the same, “The FBI routinely notifies individuals and organizations of information collected during the course of an investigation that may be perceived as potentially threatening in nature,” the agency says. “Potential threats may relate to individuals, institutions, or organizations, and are shared in order to sensitize potential victims to the observed threat, and to assist them in taking proper steps to ensure their safety.”
An 88-year-old whose name appeared on the list told NBC that he won’t let ISIS win by changing his livelihood in any capacity.
“I’m not going to change my life, I’m not going to let this get me down,” he said. “I’m not going to even do what they’re saying be cautious in the street, because it’s nonsense, it’s nonsense.”