Islamic State terrorists have threatened to publish details of British military personnel after exposing a “hit-list” of American drone pilots and urging fanatics to “kill them wherever they are”.
The jihadi extremists circulated the names, home addresses and photographs of 76 United States Air Force personnel and claimed it had also stolen “secret intelligence” from Britain’s Ministry of Defence.
The claims, which could not be verified, encouraged Islamist terrorists to find and “behead” the Americans, in imitation of the tactic used on the streets of London in 2013 by the murderers of Drummer Lee Rigby.
The group, which calls itself the “Islamic State Hacking Division”, said in its online posting: “In our next leak we may even disclose secret intelligence the Islamic Statehas just received from a source the brothers in the UK have spent some time acquiring from the Ministry of Defence in London as we slowly and secretly infiltrate England and the USA online and off.”
Publishing photographs and purported home addresses of the American military personnel it said: “Kill them wherever they are, knock on their doors and behead them, stab them, shoot them in the face or bomb them.”
However, scrutiny of the information showed it did not appear to be the result of a leak or genuine hack, The Sunday Times said.
In a development which may offer military chiefs some reassurance over the safety of their IT systems, the 76 names appeared to have been gleaned from news articles and military newsletters before being matched with publicly-available data on the internet, such as telephone records.
The terrorists’ hacking division was previously led by Junaid Hussain, a former computer hacker from Birmingham killed by a US drone strike in Syria last August.
His wife Sally Jones, a former punk rocker, mother-of-two and Muslim convert from Chatham, Kent, is still believed to be involved with the organisation.
The data was published by the terrorists on a Polish-based file-sharing site called JustPaste.it which boasts that it offers “secure content publishing that even NSA [the US National Security Agency]won’t be able to break”.
Among those named on the list are Lieutenant-General Sean MacFarland, the US commander leading the coalition against Isis in Syria and Iraq, whose identity is already in the public domain.
At least five British Isis fighters, including Hussain, 21, and Mohammed Emwazi, 27, the murderer from London known as Jihadi John, have been killed by the drone programme, which is mainly run from bases in Nevada and New Mexico.
Sally Jones met Hussain online and followed him to Syria in 2013 with Jojo, her 10-year-old son from a previous relationship.
After Hussain was killed she wrote on Twitter under the name Umm Hussain Britaniya: “I’m proud my husband was killed by the biggest enemy of Allah, may Allah be pleased with him, and I will never love anyone but him.
“The Crusaders think they win when they kill us. They don’t we win.”
Last October the American government listed her as a “specially designated global terrorist”.
Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman, said: “We are aware that Isil and other terrorist organisations have periodically purported to release personal information on US service members and military members of our coalition partners involved in operations against Isil.