The United Cyber Caliphate hacked into the website of a church in Michigan Friday. The UCC calls itself the “cyber army” of the Islamic State.
Instead of the Lamont’s Christian Reformed Church’s regular content, an Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) video popped up on the site (see video below), with the words, “You have been hacked by the United Cyber Caliphate.” The video, made a number of years ago, is a well-known piece of ISIS recruitment propaganda from Abu Muhammad al-Adnani al-Shami, the official spokespman and a senior leader of the Islamic State.
In the video al-Shami declares, “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses and enslave your women by the permission of Allah, the Exalted. This is His promise to us, He is glorified and He does not fail in His promise.”
Elizabeth Storteboom, 15, discovered the hack. “It just started playing, and I was reading the bottom, and it was talking about crazy things,” she said. “I called my dad in, and said he needs to see this. I covered the camera, because I was super scared there for a second.”
Storteboom added, “It was just talking about hating Christians and how Allah was God and everything … They were talking about taking women and children and stuff.”
The group was responsible for hacks in the past, including gaining access to online military databases.
While FBI and other officials were investigating the incident, C.C.S. Technologies, the firm that runs the website, was able to fix the site by the next day.
However, the hack served its purpose and instilled fear in the congregation. “They were pretty freaked out,” said Storteboom. “One of my friends said they didn’t think a lot of people were going to show up today, and then the doors opened during service and they said like six people turned around and were getting freaked out. One of my friends said it had bombing threats in it or something.”
Watch the ISIS video that popped up on the church’s website: