A video message posted online on September 10th threatened to launch a hacking operation against Israel on 9/11 under the name “OpIsrael Reborn.”
The video, which starts off by calling for the operation against Israel, shows footage of the World Trade Center attack, Osama bin Laden, the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and other scenes from U.S. military operations. The hackers claim that Israel and the U.S. are the real terrorists and imply that Israel was responsible for 9/11, a widely circulated conspiracy theory that has been propagated by left and right-wing extremists in the dozen years since the 2001 attack. Other written statements that appear in the video refer to the 9/11 attacks as a lie and claim that Israel does not exist, “it is Palestine.”
The video was released by an Egypt-based hacker group called “Myths Hackers Team.” Several other international hacking groups called for similar attacks against Israel on 9/11 but based on Israeli media reports thus far, none of these efforts were particularly successful.
In the video, Myths Hackers Team also claimed responsibility for an April hacking operation against Israel.
The group has an Islamist bent and is sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, as illustrated by various posts on its Facebook page. It claims that it has successfully hacked more than 200 Israeli websites, including the websites of military agencies. One post on the Facebook page reads: “We will not stop, we will not forgive, we will not forget… it’s only the beginning, what is coming is more. We promised to start the war and it will not end until we announce that we are finished.”
The first “OpIsrael” hacking incident took place during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza last November, when hackers targeted, and in some cases defaced, various Israeli websites. A similar hacking operation timed to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day in April of this year was dubbed “OpIsrael2.”
Past cyber-attacks against Israeli and Jewish institutions have been labeled by some Islamist activists as “electronic jihad.” ADL has previously issued numerous reports about anti-Semitic 9/11-related conspiracy theories, warning that “allegations of Jewish culpability in the 9/11 attacks may even be used as justification for future acts of anti-Semitic violence.”