US court orders deportation of Daesh hacker over COVID-19 fears

US court orders deportation of Daesh hacker over COVID-19 fears
Daesh (Islamic State) fighters march in Raqqa, the former main base in Syria of the terrorist group. (AP file photo)
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Updated 04 December 2020

US court orders deportation of Daesh hacker over COVID-19 fears

US court orders deportation of Daesh hacker over COVID-19 fears

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia: A computer hacker serving 20 years for giving the Daesh (Islamic State) group the personal data of more than 1,300 US government and military personnel has been granted compassionate release because of the coronavirus pandemic and will be placed in ICE custody for prompt deportation, a federal judge ordered Thursday.
US District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema in Alexandria signed the order reducing the sentence of Ardit Ferizi to time served. Brinkema also ordered the Bureau of Prisons to immediately place Ferizi in a 14-day quarantine to ensure he’s not infected with the coronavirus. At the end of the quarantine, Ferizi will be released into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement so he can be deported to Kosovo, the judge ordered.
Ferizi, 24, will remain on supervised release for 10 years as imposed when he was sentenced in September 2016, Brinkema wrote.
In a handwritten motion from prison, Ferizi said earlier this fall that his asthma and obesity placed him at greater risk for COVID-19. He also said special restrictions at the prison require him to check in with staff every two hours, increasing his contact with guards and his risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Brinkema initially rejected Ferizi’s request at a hearing in October, citing concerns that he might resume hacking if released, among other issues. Prosecutors had opposed Ferizi’s release.


Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions
Updated 25 January 2021

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions
  • Florence Parly, the French defense minister, signed the agreement in Athens to deliver 12 used and six new aircraft
  • France has sided with Greece in a dispute with Turkey over boundaries in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean

ATHENS, Greece: Greece signed a 2.3 billion-euro ($2.8 billion) deal with France on Monday to purchase 18 Rafale fighter jets, as tensions remain high with neighbor Turkey.
Florence Parly, the French defense minister, signed the agreement in Athens to deliver 12 used and six new aircraft built by Dassault Aviation over two years, starting in July.
France has sided with Greece in a dispute over boundaries in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean that has brought NATO members Greece and Turkey to the brink of war several times in recent decades.
Tension spiked again last summer when a Turkish exploration mission in disputed waters triggered a dangerous military build-up.
Greece and Turkey have agreed to restart talks aimed at resolving the dispute peacefully. Senior diplomats from the two countries met in Istanbul Monday to resume the process that had been interrupted for nearly five years.
But Athens says it will continue a multibillion-euro program to upgrade its military following years of cuts due to the country’s financial crisis.
France and the United States are in competition to provide the Greek navy with new frigates, while Greece’s government recently approved plans to cooperate with Israeli defense electronics firm Elbit Systems to create a new military flight academy in southern Greece.
“The upgrade in the capabilities of the Hellenic Air Force by means of both the acquisition of new fighter aircraft and the new state-of-the-art training center is critical for Greece to present a credible deterrence,” Michael Tanchum, a senior fellow at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy, told The Associated Press.
“It also provides Athens an enhanced ability to exercise more strategic autonomy when EU and NATO frameworks are deemed inadequate, making Greece more of a player in its own right.”
Starting in May, mandatory national service in the Greek Armed Forces will be increased from nine to 12 months to boost the number of people serving in uniform. While in Athens, Parly will also holding talks with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.