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Backers of Syrian president claim credit for AP Twitter hack

April 23, 2013|By Emily Alpert

Hackers who support Syrian President Bashar Assad claimed responsibility Tuesday for hijacking an Associated Press Twitter account and falsely tweeting that explosions were rattling the White House.

"Ops! @AP get owned by Syrian Electronic Army! #SEA #Syria #ByeByeObama" tweeted an account tied to the hacking group, linking to a screenshot of the hacked AP account.

The false tweet also claimed President Obama had been injured. It made little traction with other news organizations. Other Twitter accounts tied to the news agency quickly disavowed the fake tweet. White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a regularly scheduled news briefing Tuesday that the president was fine.

The AP account was suspended shortly after the hacked tweet was released.

The Syrian Electronic Army has previously claimed to have hacked Twitter accounts for CBS, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and the British Broadcasting Corp. Last year, it took over Twitter and Facebook accounts of the Al Arabiya news channel to spread fake news of a coup and explosion in Qatar, which sides with the Syrian rebels.

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