The intelligence community for the United States and the United States military is finalizing the report that a US drone strike this week has killed Junaid Hussain. Hussain is a top ISIS recruiter and was linked to the Garland, Texas, cartoon attack.
A United States official said that it was almost certainly the British-born ISIS recruiter and hacker that was killed in the US drone strike. The United States believes that Hussain was involved in inspiring a lot of the attacks, including the one at the cartoon contest in Texas. It has come out that Hussain was killed in Raqqa, which is the capital of ISIS, although it has been self-declared. Raqqa is in northern Syria, and this has been the safe haven for ISIS according to most officials in the United States. This means that this particular airstrike was significant if it was able to reach Hussain from inside of the city. This drone strike was specifically targeting Hussain, according to many officials from the United States, and he was traveling in a vehicle in Syria at the time of the attack. The United States got word of his travels and decided to watch him to confirm he was indeed present before the attack actually happened. It appears that Hussain stepped outside when the US drone hit him and that is when he was actually hit. The US military conducted this operation because there were clear rules of engagement when it comes to attacking ISIS, and there was not any implications that the British government had been involved in helping kill Hussain, since he is a British-born citizen.
A US official said that there was a lot of sensitivity as far as what the reaction would be in the Muslim communities within the United Kingdom, especially if a formal announcement of the drone strike was made. This is because Hussain was a british-born citizen that had been targeted by the United States, and now there is a long complex process that has to happen. These complex processes happen with all of the attacks that are geared towards the ISIS members, because it takes a while to confirm for sure that a specific person was indeed killed in the attack. Last week there was a drone strike that killed Haji Mutazz, who is a top ISIS deputy to Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, who is the head of the ISIS organization. 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. United States officials have said that Hussain is a high-value ISIS target, and this was a very successful operation.
Hussain was one of guys that was alleged to have been part of the circulation of hit lists, which included photos and addresses of many United States military personnel, and it was put out by a group called the Islamic State Hacking Division. Hussain had been linked to the cartoon drawing contest attack earlier this year, which happened in Garland, Texas. Participants were asked to draw the prophet Mohammed, and the investigators believed Hussain had helped online private message people to help radicalize them, and it inspired one of the gunmen to go on the attack. A Garland police officer shot and killed the gunmen, and the Garland police were part of the security in place for the event.
In terms of Hussain, his death would mean the end of one of the most prolific English-language propagandists. Hussain has been the one to call for attacks over in the West via Twitter, and was helping groom many terrorists in the Western countries by using encrypted message apps online. So in terms of who Hussain was, he was more than just an ISIS member, he was a hacker and one of the best when it came to the Internet and using the Internet to spread ISIS propaganda to many all over the world. 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.