IBTimes UK

A group of hackers linked to the Islamic State have released a hit list of thousands of New York residents and have urged the militant group's followers to target them.

The target list was reportedly posted with an announcement saying "We want them #Dead" on encrypted messaging app Telegram.

NBC New York has reported that the list includes the names, addresses and email ids of about 3,600 New Yorkers, some of whom are US State Department and Department of Homeland Security employees. However most of the people in list are ordinary citizens.

Out of those details, some appear to be outdated, a source who was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly told Reuters.

It is reported that the list was posted for a very short span of time. The Federal agents and New York City police have already started contacting the individuals mentioned in the list to inform them about the posting, although they believe that this was only to scare people and there is no immediate threat.

In a statement to Reuters, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said: "While our standard practice is to decline comment on specific operational and investigative matters, the FBI routinely notifies individuals and organizations of information collected during the course of an investigation that may be perceived as potentially threatening in nature."

Last year, an Islamic State-related group had posted details including names, addresses and photos of 100 US military service members and had asked the followers to kill them.

The militant group that controls strips of territory in Syria and Iraq accepted the blame and said that they were responsible for several major terrorist attacks in different countries of the world, including coordinated attacks in Paris in November that killed 130 people.

More than 70 individuals have been arrested by the US authorities for attempting to support Islamic State since 2013.

IBTimes UK