Hackers displayed Iranian propaganda video on the Jerusalem Post site and the Twitter account of its sister publication, Maariv.
By Pesach Benson, United With Israel
Hackers breached the Jerusalem Post website and the Twitter account of its sister publication, Maariv on Monday morning.
They posted a video from a recent Iranian missile drill in which a mock-up of Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor was destroyed. Also posted was an image of a rocket flying from a fist reaching from heaven towards the exploding reactor. The hand wore a ring associated with Quds Force commander Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
The hack took place on the second anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq.
The image also contained a message in English and Hebrew, saying, “We are close to you where you do not think we are.”
It took the Post two hours to regain full control of its website.
On social media, the hackers tweeted a photo from Maariv‘s account of Soleimani with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Iraqi commander of the Popular Mobilisation Forces, an umbrella organization of around 50 Iraqi Shia Muslim militias with a combined 122,000 fighters. The PMF was originally created by the Iraqi government in 2014 to fight Islamic State but is now in Tehran’s orbit. The hackers also used Maariv‘s Twitter account to retweet the same image from an account called @ShiaEagle. Twitter suspended @ShiaEagle following the hack.
No groups have claimed responsibility. It’s not clear if the hackers were directly affiliated with the Iranian government or from where they were operating. Iran is marking the anniversary of Soleimani’s death with a week of commemorations.
As commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force, Soleimani was the point man for Iran’s relations with its regional proxies. He supervised Tehran’s efforts to entrench itself in Syria and Lebanon and oversaw relations with Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthi militia in Yemen, and various allied militias in Iraq. Soleimani also spied on Iran’s Jewish community.
At the time of his assassination, Soleimani was linked to attacks on U.S. targets in the Mideast, and the White House said Soleiman was also planning further attacks. Last month, the former head of IDF military intelligence Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Tamir Hayman confirmed Israel “played a role” in the assassination. He didn’t specify, but reports indicate Israel helped track down Soleimani.
Reports said Soleimani’s body was identified through a prominent red-stoned ring he wore.
Iranian rhetoric has escalated in recent weeks amid stalled nuclear talks in Vienna and Israeli moves to bolster its abilities to strike Iran. In December, the Tehran Times, a daily paper regarded as a mouthpiece of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, published a front-page warning to Israel featuring a large map of Israel with pins symbolizing targets. It was accompanied by the headline, “Just One Wrong Move!”
The English-language Jerusalem Post and Hebrew-language Maariv are both owned by Mirkaei Tikshoret, a Tel Aviv-based media firm controlled by Israeli businessman Eli Azur.
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