Bahrain says websites hacked ahead of parliamentary elections

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates –

Bahrain said on Saturday that hackers had targeted websites in the island kingdom just hours before scheduled parliamentary elections.

The Interior Ministry did not identify the websites targeted, but the state-run Bahrain News Agency and the Bahrain parliament website could not be accessed online.

The Home Office said: “Sites that are being targeted to obstruct elections and spread negative messages in desperate efforts will not affect citizens’ resolve to go to the polls. promissory note”.

Screenshots taken by internet users show a post-hack photo, claiming that it was done by a previously unknown account known as Al-Toufan, or “The Flood” in English Arabic. Social media accounts affiliated with Al-Toufan said the group targeted the parliament website “due to the crackdown carried out by the Bahraini government and to fulfill the popular will to boycott the protests. sham election.”

A banned Shiite opposition group and others urged voters to boycott the election.

Bahraini officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The attack occurred just hours before the parliamentary and municipal elections in Bahrain. Voters will choose 40 members of Bahrain’s lower house, the Council of Representatives. The upper house of parliament, the Advisory Council, is appointed by royal decree of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Bahrain is in the midst of a decade-long crackdown on all dissent following the 2011 Arab Spring protests, which saw the island’s Shiite majority and the others demand more political freedom.

Since Bahrain quelled the protests with the help of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, it has jailed Shiite activists, deported others, and stripped them of their citizenship. hundreds of people and shut down their leading independent newspaper.

Bahrain, about the size of New York City, is home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.

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