A British hacker who U.S. and European officials said became a top cyber expert for Islamic State in Syria has been killed in a U.S. drone strike, a U.S. source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. It has come out that Hussain was killed in Raqqa, which is the capital of ISIS, although it has been self-declared. Raqqa, located in northern Syria, has been treated as a safe haven by ISIS, some U.S. officials pointed out, so reaching him in the city adds to the significance of the strike. Subsequent assessments indicated that Hussain had stepped outside when he was hit by a missile from a U.S. drone.
The US network said a “complex process” is now underway to confirm Hussain was definitely killed in the strike.
Tweeting under the name “Terrorist”, the Maida Vale rapper wrote: ‘Me & Abu Hussein al britani got kidnapped /tortured by FSA/IF scum they stole our 4 ak’s and a 7mm, my vechile & our phones and cash’.
The 21-year-old was said last month to have been number three on the Pentagon’s “kill list” of IS targets and is thought to have fled Britain to travel to Syria in 2013.
He was killed by a targeted drone strike after US officials received a tip-off about his location. The United States officials said that since that killing, ISIS has been very angry and has been arresting and then killing a lot of people who were suspected of disclosing intelligence information about the movements of ISIS.
Junaid Hussain from Birmingham has been described as a key operator for so-called Islamic State allegedly involved in targeting new recruits for the organisation.
Hussain also was linked to the attack in earlier this year on a cartoon drawing contest in Garland, Texas, where participants were asked to draw the Prophet Mohammed. You might think of Hussain as one of the smart nerdy types who knew a lot about encryption and computers, and he was vital in terms of helping ISIS spread its message, so this drone strike was very important to helping stop the leadership and stop the promotion of this group. Both men were shot and killed by police guarding the event at Garland’s Curtis Culwell Center.
Hussain’s death would remove the most prolific of all of ISIS’s English-language propagandists, according to CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank.
Hussain critical to ISIS recruitment and online operations.