Julie, a New York City dog walker who’s last name is being withheld for security reasons, is one of many questionable targets on the latest ISIS ‘Kill List”. The names and addresses of approximately 3,600 New Yorkers were shared on the latest list released by the pro-ISIS hacking group, United Cyber Caliphate. The dog walker is one of many average New Yorkers who were targeted. Other notable targets include a Brooklyn-based writer and an 88-year-old retiree named Art. This odd assortment of names begs the question: What does ISIS want with a dog walker from New York, a writer and a retiree?
Discovering your name on an ISIS hit list would be a shock to anyone’s sense of security but U.S. officials are reassuring these average americans that there is little reason to panic. The information was shared on a popular ISIS information sharing platform called Telegram. Terrorists posting “hit lists” to the site has become such a common occurrence that the site has made it a point to wipe all ISIS communications channels with little success.
Further investigation revealed that every one of the 3,600 names released were all easily accessible online and required no hacking skills. Much of the info posted was also outdated or incorrect. The brooklyn-based dog walker named on the list was listed as a government employee, which she isn’t, and the information posted was over eight years old. The dog walker was just as perplexed as the rest of us.
Officials believe that posting random names of U.S. citizens is a tactic used by ISIS to inspire fear in their enemies. No actual plans to attack these citizens has been discovered. A list of names with “We want them #Dead.” posted to the online sharing website is common practice for these pro-ISIS “hackers”. In March 2015 the names and information of over 100 military personnel were posted to a similar list. No harm has come to any of the officials on that list. Much like the recent list of 3,600 New Yorkers the list of military personnel was assembled from easily accessible public information.
Despite the low risk of attack officials are still reaching out to every person whose information was “leaked” on the recent hit list. They are urging these people to stay off of social media but are also informing them that there is little reason to worry. Agents are contacting each person listed individually by phone. Julie, the dog-walker from NYC, said in a statement to the Daily Dot:
“The agent recommended that I be off social media for awhile…I’m not worried about it. mostly think it’s funny.”
With little reason to worry about being the victim of a terrorist attack Julie plans to continue on with her life as usual. Do you think that people who were named on the list should exercise more caution? Sound off in the comment section below!