The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has received what is being termed a "kill list" that has been prepared by handlers of the Islamic State (IS). The list targets ethical hackers, and software managers, some of whom have aided security agencies in tracking down IS members and potential recruits.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the list includes names from across the globe. Significantly, 150 of those are from Maharashtra, including around 70 from Mumbai.
The report went on to add that the list was found on a laptop belonging to arrested alleged IS recruit Nasir Bin Yafi Chaus, who hails from Parbhani in Maharashtra. The list was shared by his handler identified as Syria-based Shafi Armar alias Yusuf alias Farooque.
“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,” a senior security official aware of the case told the paper.
“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 further told the paper.
It may be recalled that in June last year the pro-ISIS United Cyber Caliphate hacker group released a list of 8,318 people, including their addresses and email details, on a Telegram.
“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,” the official was further quoted as saying by the paper.