Unknown hackers took over the Afghan Taliban's website twice yesterday (April 26) and defaced the home page with violent images of Taliban members brutally beating Afghan citizens.
A Taliban spokesman blamed Western intelligence agencies for the hack on the Taliban's Al Emara website, Reuters reported. The hackers replaced the site's victory messages with graphic images of executions and messages of support for the Afghan government, written in English, Arabic and Pashto.
A screenshot taken from the defaced site read, "Violence is wrong in all its forms, especially the encouragement by the Taliban of cowardly betrayal and the senseless murder of innocent civilians," Reuters said. "The Afghan Security Forces are accountable to Allah and the Afghan people and seek to restore peace as the foreigners leave the land."
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters that the site, almera1.com, was first attacked at 12:30 a.m. local time yesterday, and fixed in three hours before being defaced again. The site was online today.
"It was hacked again by enemies and foreign intelligence services," Mujahid said. "The enemy tries to push its propaganda. The enemy is worried by what gets published in our webpage. It's confusing for them, so they try to react."
This is the second cyberattack aimed at the main Taliban website this month. Previously, Al Emara's English-language site was temporarily defaced with similar pictures of Taliban violence and photographs of roadside bombs, Reuters said.