Canadian authorities say they are aware of a report on a “kill list” linked to the so-called Islamic State that includes the names of roughly 150 Canadians.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a U.S. media monitoring organization, said the list was created by the pro-ISIS hacking group the Caliphate Cyber Army and two affiliate groups.
Global News has obtained a copy of the list, which includes the names, email and street addresses of more than 8,300 people from around the world. Of the approximately 150 Canadians on the list, most of them are women.
Speaking in Ottawa Thursday, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the federal government is treating the threat with “with the gravity it demands.”
“We take that matter and all matters related to international terrorism extremely seriously,” he said. “You can be assured that the police and security authorities of Canada are taking this matter with the gravity it demands.”
Goodale would not comment on the credibility of threat, but reiterated the response by security agencies was “robust.”
A spokesperson for the RCMP said they are working with domestic and international law enforcement partners to assess the information and notify Canadians on the list.
“Because of the sensitive nature of this matter, we will not be providing further comment,” said Sgt. Harold Pfleiderer. He added there was no information linking the list to the shooting at an Orlando, Fla., nightclub that killed 49 people.
Elliot Zweig, MEMRI’s deputy director, said his organization was happy to have found the list and provide it to law enforcement. They first discovered the list on June 7.
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“However, both the size of it as well as the apparently semi-random nature of the individuals on it means that it is mostly likely a less focused threat,” he said.
Zweig said past “kill lists” have included military personnel, government officials or more prominent names.
The U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group has documented several “kill lists” liked to ISIS hacker groups containing thousands of names of individuals that have been released in recent months. In April a list of 3,600 New York residents’ names and personal information, accompanied by the message “We Want Them #Dead” was published.
“Jihadi kill lists are not at all a new thing,” said SITE director Rita Katz, in a report released last week. “However, lists released by pro-Islamic State hacking groups are quickly forming a genre of their own, especially when noting the differences in which types of targets they identify.
Due to privacy and safety concerns Global News will not be publishing the names of Canadians included on the list.