'Top Islamic State hacker' from UK believed killed in Syria drone attack

British Hacker for Islamic State Killed in U.S. Drone Strike in Syria

A British computer hacker accused of being a prominent member of Islamic State (IS) is believed to have been killed in a US drone strike in Syria, according to reports.

The American military and intelligence community is said to be in the final stages of confirming the death of Junaid Hussain, from Birmingham.

A US official was quoted as saying they have a "high level of confidence" that he was killed.

A strike specifically targeted Hussain while he was travelling in a vehicle in Syria, sources were said to have told CNN.

The claims have not been confirmed by British authorities.

Reports have described Hussain as a key operative in the extremist group, allegedly involved in online hacking and recruitment activities.

The 21-year-old was said last month to have been number three on the Pentagon's "kill list" of IS targets.

Hussain is thought to have fled Britain to travel to Syria in 2013.

In June this year, he was linked with an IS plot to attack an Armed Forces Day parade in south London.

It was reported that the plan to explode a pressure cooker bomb - killing soldiers and bystanders on the route - failed after one Hussain unwittingly recruited an undercover investigator from The Sun to carry it out.

He allegedly told the investigator: "It will be big. We will hit the kuffar (unbelievers) hard InshAllah. Hit their soldiers in their own land. InshAllah. Soldiers that served in Iraq and Afganistan will be present. Jump in the crowd and detonate the bomb.

"They think they can kill Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan then come back to the UK and be safe. We'll hit them hard InshAllah."

In June 2012, aged 18, Hussain was jailed for six months after making prank calls to a counter-terror hotline.

He admitted making the nuisance calls and publishing former prime minister Tony Blair's address book in June the previous year.

Hussain was a member of TeaMpOisoN (TeamPoison), a group which had claimed responsibility for more than 1,400 offences where personal and private information has been illegally extracted from victims in the UK and around the world.

TeamPoison also claimed to be behind online hacking attacks involving foreign politicians, major international businesses, an international humanitarian agency and foreign law enforcement.