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Hacker Leading Online ISIS Recruitment Believed Killed in U.S. Airstrike

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A U.S. airstrike reportedly killed Junaid Hussain, a British hacker who became a top cyber expert for the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), according to officials speaking with The Guardian on Wednesday.

Hussain, also known as Abu Hussain al-Britani, was born in Birmingham, England; the 21-year-old reportedly traveled to Syria in 2013. Western officials believed he was a key figure within the ISIS group Cyber Caliphate, which hacked into the Pentagon’s Twitter and YouTube accounts in January, sending pro-ISIS messages for a short time.

Hussain was married to Sally Jones, a 44-year-old English rocker who converted to Islam. She met the jihadi fighter online and left the UK with her son to join him in Syria.

The White House has not officially announced Hussain’s death. If confirmed, it would be the second time in eight days that a U.S. airstrike has reportedly killed a senior member of ISIS; on Aug. 18 Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, ISIS’s second-in-command was killed near Mosul, Iraq.

[The Guardian]

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Write to Naina Bajekal at naina.bajekal@time.com