Senior Kuwaiti Imam Tareq Mohammed al-Suwaidan called for a cyber jihad against Israel, in a Twitter post that reached over 240,000 followers, reports Ynetnews.com. The move followed several tit-for-tat attacks between Arab and Israeli hackers, mostly targeting Israeli citizens, financial institutions, and government websites.
"There is a need to united hacker efforts, within the framework of cyber Jihad against the Zionist enemy," al-Suwaidan wrote on Twitter. He also called the attacks an "efficient jihad which will reap great rewards, Inshallah [Allah willing]."
Abdulrahman al-Kharraz, a senior member of a Kuwaiti committee against the Gaza blockade, also called for attacks on Israel. "The Saudi hacker's electronic jihad reminds me of Yahya Ayyash," he said, recalling a Hamas bomb maker who terrorized the Jewish state in the early 1990s.
The latest online battle between Israeli and Arab hackers took off on Jan. 3, although previous attacks including a 2008 shutdown of the Bank of Israel's website. A Saudi hacker calling himself OxOmer exposed the credit card details of as many as 20,000 Israelis, and claimed to have revealed around 400,000 card numbers. An Israeli hacker posted the credit numbers of 200 Saudis in response, although he did not include their full information.
In the past several days, the Saudi hacker and a Palestinian team calling itself "Nightmare" took down the websites of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, First International Bank of Israel, Israeli airline El Al, and two other major Israeli businesses. Israeli activists brought down the Saudi stock and UAE exchanges in response. The attacks on Israel had minimal effect, despite the potential for most devastating attacks, and the Israeli Defense Ministry is planning to establish a special cyber warfare administration as further deterrence.