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Hackers Deface Al-Qaeda Web Site

A group of hackers attacks the Web site of a Qaeda-linked group that has claimed responsibility for numerous kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq.
A group of hackers calling themselves TeAmZ USA on Tuesday attacked the Web site of a Qaeda-linked group that has claimed responsibility for numerous kidnappings and beheadings of Westerners in Iraq.

The hackers shunted requests for the site of the Tawhid and Jihad Group of Al-Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to a page showing a machine-gun toting penguin, smashed monitor, and the warning, "Host them and your [sic] next."

The message refers to the free hosting firm that serves up the site. By early Wednesday, the Web site had returned to normal. Islamic militants have taken to using the Web for propaganda purposes, often closing sites and shifting providers on short notice.

al-Zarqawi's group beheaded two American captives, Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley, last week, and is threatening a third, a British citizen named Kenneth Bigley. The Web site has been used to post videos of the hostages pleading for their lives, and footage of the beheadings.

The TeAmZ USA group has hit the Tawhid and Jihad Group site before. In late August, it tagged the site with a graphic of a large American flag and a photo of Osama bin Laden in crosshairs.

An image of the TeAmZ USA penguin hack can be found on several bloggers' Web sites, including this one.