An Islamic State (IS) online “hit list” has targeted roughly 3,000 New York City-area residents. Local law enforcement says most are private citizens with no government ties.
The list contains upwards of 3,600 names and is intended as a scare campaign to sow terror over the Internet. Reports say it includes the names of some US State Department and Homeland Security employees. But the bulk contains personal information on private citizens from the metropolitan area. It was posted on a site accessible to only IS supporters by an IS-related group called Caliphate Cyber United.
Authorities say the list doesn’t single out any particular person or group for retribution. Reuters reported that it includes names, home addresses and email addresses. Some of the information appears to be outdated, according to a source, who was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.
The FBI and New York City Police Department reportedly plan to visit the homes of those named in the list. In a statement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said, “While our standard practice is to decline comment on specific operational and investigative matters, 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 Reuters source says law enforcement doesn’t believe the list poses any credible threat.
The list isn’t the first IS-related activity to surface in the Tri-State area. In March, a pro-ISIS Twitter account reportedly released the personal details of 55 officers after hacking into the New Jersey Transit Police website and encouraged supporters to carry out “lone wolf” attacks on them.
Last year, an IS-tied group also posted what it claimed were the names, addresses and photos of 100 US military service members and called upon followers to kill them.