A 20-year-old Georgia woman was arrested on March 12 in Hephziba, Georgia, for allegedly providing material support to ISIS. The FBI says Kim Anh Vo was involved in an online group, the ‘United Cyber Caliphate’, which swore allegiance to ISIS, and comprised formerly independent hacking groups sympathetic to the terrorist cause. The group was dedicated to committing online attacks and cyber warfare against other Americans.
The FBI submitted a 29-page complaint regarding the violation of 18 U.S.C s.2339B of the American Constitution and refers to communication between Vo and other members of the cyber caliphate, which included emojis and ISIS jargon.
The Cyber Caliphate’s extensive projects included kill lists, which documented the personal details of state department officials and American soldiers. These lists further entreated supporters to “murder thousands of Americans through so-called ‘lone-wolf’ attacks.”
During the time of her alleged hacking activity, which prosecutors suggested was between April 2016 – May 2017, Vo was identified using various online aliases, including ‘[email protected]’, ‘Miss.Bones’, ‘Sage Pi’ and ‘Kitty Lee’.
Prosecutors suggested Vo’s roles as part of the Cyber Caliphate were focused principally on mobilizing and recruiting other hackers to generate more online propaganda for the group.
In April 2016, the Cyber Caliphate used various social media platforms, including Twitter, to publicize the personal information of more than 3000 Americans.
Videos released from the group included threats such as
“We have a message to the people of the U.S., and most importantly, your president Trump: Know that we continue to wage war against you, know that your counter attacks only makes stronger” and “We will release a list with over 8000 names, addresses, email addresses, of those who fight …or live amongst the Kuffar. Kill them wherever you find them.”
The FBI complaint also described an alleged video which threatened a non-profit organization which was engaged in efforts to expose and challenge extremist propaganda on the internet. The CEO of the non-profit was singled out with the chilling words “we will get you.”
Vo was charged with one count of conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terror organization. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison.