NIA has acquired a 'kill list' prepared by the recruiting operators of the Islamic State that targets tech professionals including ethical hackers, software managers, computer geeks and others.
In a recent development, The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has acquired a ‘kill list’ prepared by the recruiting operators of the Islamic State that targets tech professionals including ethical hackers, software managers, computer geeks and others. The list contains potential names of people who are said to have helped security agencies track ISIS members and potential recruits. The obtained list contain names of such professionals across the world out of which 150 are from Maharashtra and 70 particularly from Mumbai.
The security agencies of the country are said to be analysing the list and have started contacting some of the names, it is touted to be a ‘red herring’ planned by the terror outfit to mislead the investigating agencies from the real target.
As per a report published by The Indian Express, the list was obtained from the laptop of Nasir Bin Yafi Chaus, who is from Parbhani district in Maharashtra and is an alleged IS recruit. Nasir was later taken into custody by the NIA. Further investigation informed that the list was shared by Nasir’s handler who is a Syria-based Shafi Armar alias Yusuf alias Farooque. The list specifies names, designations, companies and email addresses of the ISIS targets.
While speaking to The Indian Express, a senior security officer aware of the case said, “Investigation has revealed that this list was shared by Yusuf who wanted the module to target these professionals who they see as threat to their ideology. Many of these professionals are ethical hackers and some of them are also associated with various security agencies in curbing the IS menace.”
“We have visited a few of them and found nothing that they do or have done which could be constituted as anti-IS. However, the list, clearly, has been diligently prepared,” the official added further.
This is not for the first time that ISIS has prepared a list like this. In June 2016, pro-ISSI United Cyber Caliphate hacker group made a list of more than 8,300 people with their addresses and email ids, on a Telegram. Those listed were mostly military personnel, government employees and people in the public eye, like royalty and celebrities.
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Commenting on the same, a related official said, “The pro-ISIS hacker group has been sharing such lists on app-based messenger services like Telegram which are difficult to track by counter-terrorism agencies. The US list also had details such as insurance types of targets, their home phone, work phone and cell numbers.”
Last year, Maharashtra ATS busted a Parbhani-based alleged IS module and arrested four people related in such activities from Parbhani and Hingoli. These were, Mohd Raisuddin Siddique, Iqbal Kabir Ahmed, Nasir Chaus and Shaheed Khan.
As per security agencies, the module was planning to attack the Aurangabad ATS unit. Police had also claimed that the group was planning to target former Superintendent of Police (SP) Navinchandra Reddy, who was involved in an operation against a Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) operative back in 2012.