The U.S. military has confirmed the killing of Junaid Hussain, the British Citizen who had become a central player in the cyber activities of ISIS or Islamic State. Hussain was killed in a targeted drone strike on August 24th whilst travelling in Syria and was married to Sally Jones, an ex-punk rocker from Chatham who has taken on the name of Umm Hussain Al-Brittani and who is presumed to live in ISIS controlled Raqqa.
Hussain was convicted in 2012 of leaking the private contacts of Tony Blair and was also believed to be central in the cyber activities of ISIS. For example, he is thought to have been behind the release of the personal information of around 1,300 U.S. military and government employees, with the information posted onto a variety of public sites. The hacking and collection of the information showed the growing capability of Islamic State sympathisers in their ability to capture sensitive information.
There is no doubt that the killing of Hussain will mean that U.S. and U.K. military sources will breathe a sigh of relief given the cyber capabilities of Hussain. Hussain and his wife were pro-active in trying to recruit people on-line to undertake attacks in Europe and Western nations and this killing will certainly deliver a blow to the cyber capabilities of ISIS. Yet, the group is highly active using various media arms in trying to recruit people on-line, including disseminating well made and high definition films means to inspire viewers to become supporters and worst still, join the group in Syria or Iraq.