A prominent Arab Islamic scholar, buoyed by reports of successful attacks by a presumed Saudi hacker on Israel, called for electronic jihad (holy war) against the Jewish nation while another scholar gave his blessing.
Tareq Al Suwaidan, a Kuwaiti scholar and one of the best known Arab intellects, described the assaults by that hacker, who called himself as OxOmar, on Israeli websites as “Jihad which will be rewarded by God.”
His comments coincided with statements from the bourses of Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and other regional countries denying claims by Israeli hackers that their websites have been crippled.
“I believe that the efforts of this hacker should be pooled into more efforts within an electronic jihad project against the Zionist enemy (Israel),” Suwaidan said in a message on Twitter.
“The efforts of this hacker against our enemy are considered an important and effective tool of Jihad that will be rewarded by God the Almighty.”
Suwaidan was the first Moslem scholar in the region to support the unknown hacker, who has wreaked havoc inside Israel by crippling the websites of Tel Aviv stock market, El Al Airlines and other key institutions.
“This brave hacker has paralyzed Tel Aviv bourse and El Al….wish you safety all the time and God bless you Omar,” said Kuwaiti activist Abdul Rahman Al Kharraz, a member of the Kuwaiti committee to break Israel’s siege on the Palestinians in Gaza Strip.
The hacker was also reported to have stormed into the personal website of Israeli deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon, who last week threatened counter action against the eluding hacker.
According to press reports, OxOmar penetrated Ayalon’s page and wrote:”Ayalon…apologize…you are not a man and you can not stop me.”
On Tuesday, Israeli hackers calling themselves IDF-TEAM, said they have crippled the websites of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf bourses. But such claims were quickly denied by bourse authorities.
"Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange denies the rumors that its website was hacked, as claimed by some media outlets,” ADX said on Wednesday.
“ADX website experienced some technical difficulties yesterday, 17th of January, resulting in the site running slow; we have subsequently resolved these technical issues and the website was back to its normal original state.”
Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul bourse issued a similar statement following Israel reports that its operations were halted.
“Regarding reports that Israeli hackers have crippled Tadawul website, we affirm that these reports are incorrect and all bourse systems are working normally,” the Saudi bourse said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Tadawul enforces several advanced systems to protect the security of the bourse and ensure the continuation of operations,” added Tadawul, the largest and busiest stock market in the Middle East.
Earlier this week, unknown hackers managed to shut down both the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) and El Al’s respective websites on Monday, one day after a hacker network threatened to carry out attacks on both sites.
The network, which went by the name “nightmare group,” allegedly caused severe problems for both sites on the day.
Both sites were affected early in the day, posting messages saying they had been taken down for “maintenance.” The websites of two small banks were also attacked, Israeli media reported.
A spokeswoman for the stock exchange confirmed the site had come under attack but said only the website and not the trading systems had been affected.
“There is someone that has been attacking the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange website since this morning,” Idit Yaaron told AFP, describing what appeared to be a distributed denial of service attack (DDOS).
The sites crashed several hours after a hacker who calls himself ‘0xOmar’ warned he was going to target both websites, Israeli media reported.
It was the latest incident in a series of attacks over the past two weeks, which have seen details of tens of thousands of Israeli credit cards posted online and websites defaced by hackers claiming to be from Saudi Arabia or Gaza.