London, (IANS/AKI) Alleged supporters of the Islamic State (IS) group on Wednesday hacked the website of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group and threatened its director.
In the cyber attack, Observatory director Rami Abdulrahman’s face was superimposed over a hostage wearing an orange jumpsuit and kneeling next to an IS militant holding a knife, according to the SITE monitoring service.
The hackers claimed to be from a group called the Cyber Army of the Khilafah (Caliphate).
The posted a message in English and Arabic using threatening and derogatory language towards the monitor, which has documented abuse on all sides of Syria’s war.
The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists and doctors inside Syria, is a major source of information on the ground and is widely quoted by international media.
The watchdog took its website offline after the unprecedented cyber attack and has since continued to publish on its Facebook and Twitter pages.
In a defiant message posted to its Facebook page, the monitor said it would not be “gagged” or deterred by the purported IS threats or similar threats it previously received from the Syrian government and Al Qaeda.
The Cyber Army of the Khilafah hackers destroyed data the Observatory had collected on its servers. But Abdulrahman said the data was backed up and would be published on the group’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.