3 local Arab-American sites hacked with calls for jihad

George Hunter
The Detroit News

Dearborn police have contacted the FBI and are investigating an apparent hack Thursday of the websites of at least three local Arab-American organizations and dozens of others.

“Arise, O Muslims for jihad,” reads the message posted to the websites of the American Human Rights Council, the American Arab & Muslim Political Action Committee and the American Muslim Leadership Council, all in Dearborn.

The homepages were taken over by a grammatically incorrect missive, which states the sites were “Hacked by MuslimsLeets ... Muj4hida Muslmist Hacker.”

“This message for Muslims peoples!” the dispatch reads. “Our brothers in Syria & Palestine & Iraq & Burma & Chichan & Ifriquia & asia are dying Stop follow and imitate western people in Wrong culture And forget about your religion.

“This message is for The governments of all worlds! I do not admit to the Wrong law. My law is quran. We are going back. Asalamu Alaikum.”

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said detectives are investigating.

“We’ve also contacted our state and federal partners to determine which is most appropriate to investigate this,” he said.

A phone call to the FBI was not immediately returned.

American Human Rights Council president Imad Hamad said he discovered the hack of his website at about 1:15 p.m. Thursday.

“We must be doing something right to be targeted by extremist groups,” he said. “That shows that these people have no tolerance; actually they have hate to the culture of human rights and human dignity.

“We’re alarmed by it, but we’re not intimidated, and we won’t surrender to their tactics, which is to spread fear; and make us think even though we are in America, we’re not safe, and they can get to us. We’re determined to keep moving forward to fight against this kind of hateful thinking.”

Hamad said he thought the message was SPAM when he first saw it. “But then I notified the web host, Novocan.”

Mohammad Abdulaziz, Novocan’s founder, said dozens of sites were hacked.

“There are attempts once a week or so to hack our server, but this is by far the most sophisticated hack we’ve seen,” he said. “I have seven network (administrators) trying to figure out what the source is.”

Abdulaziz said the IP address of the hacker was traced to Virginia, “but that’s probably a fake address,” he said.

The hack originated with the American Human Rights Council website, and spread to the other 48 websites on the same server, he said. He said the messages were up less than three hours.

Among the other businesses affected were doctors, lawyers, a real estate company and a printer, Abdulaziz said.

The messages have been taken down, Abdulaziz said. “We’re just going to destroy the old server,” he said. “All these websites have a backup, which will be restored in the next few hours.

“The main issue here is, we’re trying to figure out exactly how they got in,” he said. “This was a pretty sophisticated operation.”


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Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN