Can you say "fatwa?" The Grand Ayatollah of Iraqi Shiites, Sayyid Ali Husaini al-Sistani, has had his website hacked by system crackers identifying themselves as “Group XP” and replaced by a video clip of US comedian Bill Maher making fun of said website.
Rock Richard of "Rock The Boat" and VetVoice brought this one to my attention, and writes:
It will be interesting to see the reaction to this in the Muslim world. Sistani is the most powerful Shia Cleric in Iraq, which pretty much means he is the most powerful, influential and respected person in that country. Once this story unravels and we see who is responsible (Western hackers? a rival Islamic group?) I would expect to see anything between strong rhetoric (best case scenario) and violent retaliation (worst case scenario).
The existence of email addresses ending with yahoo.com suggest Western hackers, though - and over at the Colorado Independent, Wendy Norris suggests it may be a badly thought out PR stunt.
The defaced site could well be a guerrilla marketing stunt to promote Maher’s new mockumentary “Religulous,” a scathing dissertation on faith that opens in theaters Oct. 3.
My guess is that "Group XP" might find themselves with more than just the FBI to be concerned with. Sistani is crucial to keeping the lid on in Iraq and I wouldn't be at all surprised if the new commander there, General Odierno, wasn't on the phone to the Pentagon shaking some of their own anti-hacker resources loose to help track the pranksters down.
Here's the clip that replaced Sistani's website: