Middle East and North Africa

Islamic State hacking Christians’ Facebook accounts

An example of a Facebook page hacked by Facebook. Photo credit: International Review.

Islamic State is hacking the Facebook accounts of Egyptian Christians to insult and threaten them and to spread IS propaganda.

Since mid-2017, the Facebook profiles of more than 60 Christians in Egypt have been hacked. The Christians’ profiles have then been used to send threatening and derogatory messages to friends. On several occasions, the hackers have changed the information page of the Christian user to read “we promise to slay him soon.”

Some accounts have also been used to share IS videos and other propaganda.

IS have previously used fake news to target Egyptian Christians. In December 2017, a social media account named the “Sons of Jesus Movement” claimed responsibility for the November bombing and shooting at a Sufi Muslim mosque in the Sinai, which killed more than 300 people.

The attack is widely thought to have been carried out by IS who regard Sufi Muslims as apostates, but IS media used the fabricated claim of responsibility to call for revenge attacks on Christians over Christmas.

Egyptian Christians have endured multiple attacks from Islamic State in the last eighteen months, including suicide bombing attacks on churches. The group now seems to be spreading its war against Christians online.