- The Washington Times - Monday, June 8, 2015

The Syrian Electronic Army claimed responsibility on Twitter for hacking into the Army’s official website Monday to protest the training America is providing to Syrian rebels.

The group, which has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since its creation in 2011, said that they hacked into Army.mil, causing the website to be taken offline for several hours.

The Army confirmed Monday afternoon that its public website had been infiltrated.

“Today an element of the Army.mil service provider’s content was compromised,” said Brig. Gen. Malcolm B. Frost, chief of Army public affairs. “After this came to our attention, the Army took appropriate preventive measures to ensure there was no breach of Army data by taking down the website temporarily.”

As of late Monday afternoon, Army.mil was still offline.

The Syrian Electronic Army tweeted that they had hacked the official website of the U.S Army and left “several messages on it.” A screenshot of one of the messages says, “Your commanders admit they are training the people they have sent you to die fighting.”

The U.S. began training and equipping about 90 Syrian rebels to help in the fight against the Islamic State on May 7. The Pentagon said at that time that it expected a second group to begin the training in “several weeks.”

The program includes a thorough vetting process for all volunteers, followed by three weeks of combat training, a week off, and another three weeks of training.

The Syrian Electronic Army’s members are “enthusiastic Syrian youths who could not stay passive towards the massive distortion of facts about what is happening in Syria,” according to their website. They claim more than 150 “high-profile attacks” on their website.

In 2013, the group allegedly hacked into the Twitter account of The Associated Press, saying that there had been a bomb explosion at the White House that injured President Obama, The Telegraph Army.html” target=”_blank”>reported.

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