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Press Release

ISIL-Linked Hacker Arrives in U.S. to Face Terrorism Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Ardit Ferizi, 20, a citizen of Kosovo, made his initial appearance here this afternoon on charges alleging that he provided material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization, and committed computer hacking and identity theft violations in conjunction with the theft and release of personally identifiable information (PII) of U.S. service members and federal employees.

Ferizi, who was detained by Malaysian authorities on a U.S. provisional arrest warrant, was charged by criminal complaint on Oct. 6, 2015. The criminal complaint was unsealed on Oct. 15, 2015.

Ferizi’s next court appearance will be on Friday at 2 p.m. at the federal courthouse in Alexandria.

Ferizi faces a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison, if convicted. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; John Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Michelle S. Klimt of the FBI’s Jacksonville, Florida, Division, made the announcement after Ferizi’s initial appearance in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Ivan D. Davis.  Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon L. Van Grack and Trial Attorney Gregory R. Gonzalez of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case. The investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and FBI’s Jacksonville Division. 

The U.S. Attorney, Assistant Attorney General, and FBI Assistant Director thanked the Malaysian authorities for their assistance in this matter.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:15-MJ-515.

A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Updated February 4, 2016

National Security