Hacker Killed by Drone was “Secret Weapon”

Sometimes true events come with better headlines than a fiction author can come up with. Case in point, this Wall Street Journal article:

Hacker Killed by Drone was “Secret Weapon”

Junaid Hussain was a British citizen who joined the Islamic State, becoming a chief in their ‘electronic army’.

He was killed by a drone strike to a car in which he was traveling.

ISIS considered him a secret weapon because of the technical skills he possessed, showing how digital warfare has become nearly as important as the physical kind.

Mr. Hussain drew attention from U.S. and British intelligence and military agencies in part because of his efforts to recruit and incite violence, said one U.S. official. His importance to Islamic State made him a legitimate target, the official said. “Leadership: That is what gets our attention.”

Hussain had hacked the email of an assistant to the then-Prime Minister of Britain and revealed personal information about Prime Minister Tony Blair. Eventually, Hussain fled to Syria and hooked up with the Islamic State. There he wrote malware and taught others how to hack, including revealing the personal details of a number of U.S. military personnel.