- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The names of dozens of U.S. government employees were reportedly circulated Sunday among Islamic State supporters when a “hit list” containing State Department and Homeland Security personnel was posted in a social networking channel geared towards sympathizers of the terror group.

A roster of 43 individuals with various federal affiliations first appeared on a Telegram channel used by the United Cyber Caliphate, a hacking group that claims to support the Islamic State, alongside a statement that said the workers were “Wanted to be killed,” Vocativ reported Monday.

“Your system failed to Tackling [sic] our attacks. Now we will Crush you again,” the statement continued, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute. Among the individuals whose names appeared on the list were those with ties to the the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the departments of Defense, Energy, Commerce and Health and Services, Vocativ reported.

The State Department did not immediately comment on the apparent hit list, Fox News reported Monday.

In December, the FBI said that it contacted several government employees whose names appeared on a similar list circulated by supporters of Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL. According to federal prosecutors, that list was provided by a Kosovo man, Ardit Ferizi, who stole the names from a compromised computer database and supplied the details to the terror group’s hacking division.

“This posting was intended to provide ISIL supporters in the United States and elsewhere with the PII [Personally Identifiable Information] belonging to the listed government employees for the purpose of encouraging terrorist attacks against those individuals,” the FBI said at the time.

United Cyber Caliphate, the group attributed with circulating the latest list, appeared earlier this month on Telegram, a social networking service where users have the option of protecting certain communications using end-to-end encrypted encryption. According to Fox, the Middle East Media Research Institute claims the new group is a composite of several previously established Islamic State hacking collectives, including Ghost Caliphate Section, Sons Caliphate Army, Caliphate Cyber Army and Kalachnikov E-security.

Last week, the website of a small church in Michigan was defaced by hackers who claimed to be affiliated with the United Cyber Caliphate.

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