Ardit Ferizi, who sent a list of over 1,000 U.S. government and military personnel to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Ferizi, 20, originally from Kosovo, was arrested last year in Malaysia. He hacked into a database and pulled some 1,300 names with “.gov” and “.mil” email addresses, which he then passed on to known ISIS supporters.
"I feel so bad for what I did,” Ferizi told the judge. “I am very sorry for what I did, making people feel scared.”
Prosecutors noted the psychological impact his actions had on those on the list. “This was a hit list,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Van Grack said. “The point was to find these individuals and hit them, to ‘strike at their necks’.”
Van Grack also asserted Ferizi had operated a pro-Islamic State propaganda website before handing over the list of names.
Ferizi’s defense attorney argued he never believed in the Islamic State’s message.
“He was a nonsensical, misguided teenager who did not know what he was doing,” his defense attorney Elizabeth Mullin told the court. “He has never embraced ISIL’s ideology.”