The Islamic hacker Ardit Ferizi, who is serving 20 years for giving his support to Islamic State group has been granted compassionate release.
Ardit Ferizi, aka Th3Dir3ctorY, is the hacker that supported the ISIS organization by handing over data for 1,351 US government and military personnel.
Ferizi is the first man charged with cyber terrorism that was extradited to the US early this year.
He was charged with hacking crimes and providing support to a terrorist organization. The 20-year-old man was accused of supporting the ISIS terrorist organization, he was the subject of extradition from the Malaysian government, where he lived. The man of Kosovar origin was studying computer science in Malaysia.
He was arrested in Malaysia in September 2015 and transferred to the US to face trial. Ardit Ferizi has been sentenced to 20 years in a U.S. prison. According to the US investigators, he provided the data to the popular IS militant Junaid Hussain, which disclosed it on the web. The collaboration between the IS hackers Hussain and Ferizi started in April 2015, according to the US authorities.
Now the hacker has been granted compassionate release because of the COVID-19 pandemic and will be placed in ICE custody for prompt deportation, a federal judge ordered Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema in Alexandria signed the order to the Bureau of Prisons to immediately place Ferizi in a 14-day quarantine before releasing into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement so he can be deported to Kosovo.
“U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema in Alexandria signed the order reducing the sentence of Ardit Ferizi to time served. Brinkema also ordered the Bureau of Prisons to immediately place Ferizi in a 14-day quarantine to ensure he’s not infected with the coronavirus. At the end of the quarantine, Ferizi will be released into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement so he can be deported to Kosovo, the judge ordered.” states the Associated Press.
The 2016 sentence ordered that Ferizi (24) will remain on supervised release for 10 years. Ferizi explained in a motion written from the prison that his asthma and obesity placed him at greater risk for COVID-19.
Ferizi explained that the special restrictions at the prison require him to check in with staff every two hours, exposing him at the risk of being infected due to the contact with guards.
“Brinkema initially rejected Ferizi’s request at a hearing in October, citing concerns that he might resume hacking if released, among other issues. Prosecutors had opposed Ferizi’s release.” concludes AP News.
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, ISIS)
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