U.S. Confirming Hit on Islamic State’s Raqqa Hacker

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The United States is in the process of confirming a hit on a prime target within the Islamic State. Junaid Hussain, a British citizen, is believed to have died in a drone strike in Raqqa, Syria, the de facto capital of the terror organization.

Hussain, 21, was a top recruiter of foreign jihadis as well as a key computer hacker for the Islamic State (ISIS) and was listed as number three on the U.S. Islamic State hit list. He is thought to have inspired a number of attacks and was responsible for publicizing a list of addresses and photos of U.S. military personnel by the so-called Islamic State Hacking Division.

A U.S. official told CNN, "We have a high level of confidence he was killed."  CNN reported U.S. intelligence had learned this week that Hussain was travelling in Syria. His vehicle was specifically watched to confirm his presence. When he exited the vehicle, he was hit by a missile fired from a U.S. drone.

Hussain was also linked to the jihadi shooting in Garland Texas which occurred at a Draw Mohammed free-speech event.

Before the identity of attackers was known, a Twitter post from an account with a history of directing followers to known Islamic State accounts, took credit for the attack. The tweet was publicized by Junaid Hussain, who oftentimes was called by his Twitter handle, Abu Hussain AlBritani.

A detailed report by the SITE Intelligence group, an organization that monitors the threat of Islamic extremism, suggests Hussain – known for inciting and praising lone wolf attacks in the West – may have known about the attack before it happened.

Although Twitter shut down Hussain's account shortly afterwards, as well as others associated with the attack, Hussain simply opened a new account a few days later, continuing to tweet about lone wolf attacks.

Hussain was married to former British rocker Sally Jones, 44, who converted to Islam and left the UK with her son to join the Islamic State in Syria. Jones, who now goes by the name of Sakinah Hussain and has been dubbed Mrs. Terror in the UK, met Hussain online.

She reportedly told another jihadi bride that Hussain was not killed in the strike and is “blessed her husband is still alive.”

When Hussain was 18, he was convicted and sentenced to prison for six months for illegally accessing the address book of former prime minister Tony Blair.

While free on bail, he left the country and travelled to Syria with British rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary.

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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