Australian defence officials, MP on ISIS hit list

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Smoke raises behind an Islamic State flag after Iraqi security forces and Shiite fighters took control of Saadiya in Diyala province from Islamist State militants, November 24, 2014. Iraqi forces said on Sunday they retook two towns north of Baghdad from Islamic State fighters, driving them from strongholds they had held for months and clearing a main road from the capital to Iran. There was no independent confirmation that the army, Shi'ite militia and Kurdish peshmerga forces had completely retaken Jalawla and Saadiya, about 115 km (70 miles) northeast of Baghdad. Many residents fled the violence long ago. At least 23 peshmerga and militia fighters were killed and dozens were wounded in Sunday's fighting, medical and army sources said. REUTERS/Stringer

A spine chilling hit list reportedly released by the Islamic State on Wednesday, features several Australian public servants, a Victorian MP (member of parliament) and Australian defence officials as well as their family members, names of whom have not been disclosed for security reasons. Australian Counter-Terrorism Minister Michael Keenan confirmed on Thursday that personal information of eight officials have been compromised by the hackers of the militant organisation, along with 1,500 others, most of whom are American military personnel.

“We are aware that there has been a hack that comprised around 1,500 people, and eight of those are Australians,” Keenan told SkyNews. “We do have those details, but I'm not going to share them publicly. But, obviously, if we felt that anybody was at risk, we would make contact with them.”

The list was apparently released by the group, Islamic State Hacking Division, which claims to be a hacking wing of the terrorist organisation and has called on supporters to attack those who appear on the list. Names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and online passwords of the targeted Australians along with others, have been usurped by the Islamic State hackers and posted on the hit list. Junaid Hussain, a British man who is a close associate of Neil Prakash, Islamic State’s top recruit in Australia, is believed to be the leader of the group. The list has been forwarded to the 1,100 followers of Neil Prakash, who said in a post, “Kill them where you find them and enslave their women.”

Many of the Australians whose name and personal details have been included in the list were unaware of the developments until they were contacted by Fairfax Media. The hackers claimed that they had hacked American government and military computers to get access to the information. The hackers are believed to have found some of the information on the targets from their social media profiles as well.

The group also reportedly included in the list the credit card details and addresses of the US air force and Department of State employees and the email exchanges between military personnel as well. Dan Tehan, the liberal MP who represents the intelligence and security committee of parliament, has called the hit list “very disturbing”.

An Australian Federal Police spokesperson said in a statement that it would liaise with its federal government as well as with state and territory partner agencies to formulate actions in response to the release.

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