The Islamic State’s Caliphate Cyber Army posted a “kill list” of names, addresses and other personal details of 36 policemen in Minnesota.
The FBI confirmed the list included full names, phone numbers, home and email addresses. The agency is investigating how the information came to be posted online.
The website Vocativ, which conducts investigations on the “Deep Web,” says individual cards with the information on them were shared through the mobile phone app Telegram, an encrypted messaging service (similar to Whats App).
“It is troubling to have that type of information online for the public to see,” FBI spokesperson Kyle Loven said.
Officer safety is the agency’s first concern, Loven added.
“We’re not going to look into whether or not this is a legitimate threat or an illegitimate threat,” he continued. “We’re going to take it and move forward with respect to what it is that we have to do in addressing this matter.”
Minnesota police officers confirmed their site had been hacked and the officers listed were those employers who had requested a quote for auto insurance,CBS local news in Minnesota reported.
The FBI advised officers on the list to maintain a heightened state of awareness “in case there would be someone who, unfortunately, would be inspired by this type of information being available,” Loven said.
The fact that Islamic extremists in Minnesota have successfully recruited and trained terrorists in the past is being taken into consideration by the FBI.
Most of the officers on the list live in or around the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul). The area’s Cedar Riverside neighborhood is home to the largest Somali community in the U.S. Since 2007, 24 men from Cedar Riverside have left the community to join extremist groups.
According to a congressional report released last November, one in four Americans who have attempted to joined the Islamic State are from Minnesota.
The Caliphate Cyber Army (CCA) has previously hacked into sensitive material on a number of occasions:
- Last week, the CCA published a file containing information on 55 New Jersey police officers. The file was downloaded 300 times in 24 hours.
- Also last week, the CCA posted a threat to financial institutions, saying they would target “banks, money transfer services, stocks and so on.” The threat, made on the group’s Telegram channel, continued, “Beware of us, economical war has just started.”
- In November, a group called the Islamic State Cyber Army posted names and addresses of a number of people who have worked for American security agencies (although some of the details were already public).
- In October, a UK citizen connected with the Islamic State published the home address of Robert O’Neill, the Navy Seal who killed Osama Bin Laden.
- In January, 2015, ISIS hackers were able to command the YouTube and Twitter accounts of the U.S. Army’s Central Command.