Islamic State (IS) jihadists have hacked the website of a catholic church in Sydney and replaced the homepage with a sickening extremist beheading video. The video was coupled with a number of threats made today (3 December) and signed off with "Hacked by the Islamic State".
Members of the church, in Concord, west Sydney, are mostly from Syria and Iraq, who had left the Middle East following the conflict. The footage displayed included the burning of bodies and beheadings that appeared to have taken place in the region.
The hackers claim to represent the IS group and follows a number of seemingly innocuous hacks which have included lower league English football clubs including Ryman League football club Heybridge Swifts. The threats said: "We don't negotiate except with canon, we don't have dialogues except with guns," the text said.
The church took to social media after the hack saying that they believed that the church was targeted after they made an appeal to offer assistance and shelter to Syrian and Iraqi refugees. The jihadi hackers also linked to a website which declared the Paris Attacks a "blessed onslaught".
Parish priest Rahal Dergham told the Daily Mail he was shocked when he discovered the cyber breach: "We have our families still under the threat of ISIS and the majority has been hurt, displaced or raped. I don't think at this stage we have any fear. We've lost everything.
"They feel a big loss has happened. We're always hoping that at one stage ISIS would be defeated and we would be back to our towns and churches and monasteries and villages and properties, and business as usual. People have lost hope."
The church website was corrected later on Thursday. A church member said Australian Security Intelligence Organisation had been contacted over the hacking.