Hackers from several Arab countries calling themselves “Arab Electronic Army” have invaded several Western websites in response to an American film that slanders Islam and prompted worldwide anger.
One of the hackers, who identified himself as Ridouan (hacker alias RéD-Zàr) from Morocco, wrote in an email sent to Al Arabiya English that the hacking operations were part of a “campaign to defend Allah’s prophet.”
“The army was recently formed and we have started to work as a team after we used to work individually.”
He identified some of his fellow hackers as Abdel Haq from Morocco (pro-psd), Saudi Hacker (wesker Hacker) Alaa from Syria (Alaa Alsory), Khaled from Syria (Connect-r Syrian).
“The hacking operations are of course a response to the offense against the prophet, peace and blessing be upon him.”
Ridouan, the spokesman for the group, explained that after he proposed the idea of forming an “electronic army” he received wide support from young Muslim hackers to “repel all offenses against our religion.”
In one of the websites (www.handmet-military.net) the hackers placed a verse from the Quran and a video titled “the absolute truth about Muhammad in the bible with Arabic subtitles.”
Other websites hacked, according to Redouan, include: www.paradaviva.com, www.vibeararuama.com.br, nioaquemaisnoticias.com.br, itamixfm.com.br, clickboahora.com, frizzera.com.br, leapresentes.com.br, mucuriverdade.com.br, mundiostur.com.br/
He explained that the group has plans to attack and hack more websites in order “to deliver the message to whom it may concern.”
The film “Innocence of Muslims,” produced in the United States by Egyptian-born Coptic Christian Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, sparked violent protests across the Muslim World. The protests killed and wounded dozens of people worldwide.
In the Libyan city of Benghazi a protest against the film was staged on Sept. 11 in front of the U.S. consulate. The United States said the protest was used by terrorists, likely affiliated with the al-Qaeda, to carry out an attack that killed American envoy Chris Stevens.
Both Muslim and Western leaders have condemned the film, but the wide international condemnation did little to calm down protesters, especially that a French magazine moved on Wednesday to publish cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammad thereby exacerbating tensions.
The cartoons in France’s Charlie Hebdo satirical prompted France to shut down embassies and schools in about 20 countries on Friday for fears of attacks by angry protesters.
Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayyeb, of prominent Islamic school Al-Azhar, has express “utmost rejection of the insistence of a French publication in printing caricatures offensive to Islam and its Prophet, the prophet of humanity.”
In Germany, authorities are considering to ban the screening of 74-minute-long version of the film by far-right group Pro Deutschland amid a brewing debate in Europe over the limits of freedom of speech.