It’s a Leftist/Islamic supremacist talking point these days that if we talk about how jihadis use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence, or discuss ways to stop jihad activity, we will alienate peaceful Muslims and drive them into the arms of ISIS. The poor dears will feel alienated, you see, and will lash out by joining the jihad they would otherwise reject.
This idea is absurd, but now it has its very own poster child: Ardit Ferizi. “Ardit Ferizi was angry that he had been falsely accused of joining the Islamic State. The hacker’s response: stealing the personal information of U.S. service members and handing it over to the terrorist group.”
The false accusations that supposedly drove him to this apparently were not so false as all that: he clearly sympathized with the group or never would have taken this step.
Ardit Ferizi was angry that he had been falsely accused of joining the Islamic State. The hacker’s response: stealing the personal information of U.S. service members and handing it over to the terrorist group….
U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema on Friday showed little sympathy for a justification that even Ferizi’s defense attorney called “nonsensical.” While acknowledging that Ferizi was young and suffers from mental health issues, she sentenced him to 20 years in prison for his crime….
As the result of Ferizi’s hack of a retail company server, names, email addresses, passwords and other data of 1,351 military members and other government employees were published on an Islamic State “kill list” last year. In court Friday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Van Grack said one woman named on the list has begun fearing all Muslims might attack her….
Ferizi was extradited last fall from Malaysia, where he had been studying computer science. While he was there last year, defense attorney Elizabeth Mullin said, a journalist in Kosovo claimed Ferizi had gone to Syria to fight with the Islamic State.
“We know that the article . . . worsened Ardit’s health situation,” his mother wrote in a letter to the court.
Van Grack called that explanation a “nonsensical story,” and Mullin agreed.
“It was a completely nonsensical, juvenile response because he was a nonsensical, misguided teenager who really didn’t know what he was doing,” Mullin said.
Ferizi began communicating online with Junaid Hussain, a British Pakistani Islamic State recruiter and hacker killed in a drone strike in August 2015. Before distributing the personal information of U.S. government employees, Ferizi hosted a pro-Islamic State website and argued in favor of the group online.
In the name of the Islamic State Hacking Division, Hussain tweeted out the list along with a statement declaring, “We are in your emails and computer systems, watching and recording your every move, we have your names and addresses, we are in your emails and social media accounts, we are extracting confidential data and passing on your personal information to the soldiers of the khilafah, who soon with the permission of Allah will strike at your necks in your own lands!”
Mullin argued that the “kill list” was merely propaganda, noting that personal and work addresses were not included. “The information [Ferizi] sent . . . could not assist in a specific attack against any individual,” she said.
Brinkema said that “just having your name on a list, knowing that you’ve been identified by a terrorist group,” is “terrorizing,” even if the information does not include specific locations.
Ferizi said in court Friday: “I feel so bad that what I did made people scared. I’m so sorry.” In his letter to the court, he said he had never been loyal to the Islamic State and renounced the group completely. On the contrary, he said, he has always been grateful to the United States for intervening in the war in Kosovo in 1999. Family members said they all feel warmly toward the United States and have several relatives here….