Websites hit by Islamist hackers

France has been victim of a spate of website attacks by Islamist hackers, Group HP-Hack, in the past few days.

The website of the small town Dieulefit, near Grenoble, was taken over last weekend. Instead of the welcome page, visitors saw videos and text praising Jihadist Muslims.

A picture of a man wearing a balaclava and holding a gun was also displayed, with an song in Arabic playing in the background.

 Hackers managed to take control of the site for two days before the town could do anything.

In the same weekend, websites for academies in Reims and Nanteuil-le-Haudouin, north east of Paris, were also hacked in a similar manner.

All three attacks have been reported to the authorities, who are taking the incidents very seriously. The Group HP-Hack has already hit several French websites in the past, and is known to police.

In 2011 numerous websites in France fell victim to a hacker based in Algeria – about 10 police websites were taken over, as well as that of the Prime Minister at the time.

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Erdogan calls French separatism bill ‘guillotine’ of democracy

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday denounced a planned French law designed to counter "Islamist separatism" as a "guillotine" of democracy.

Erdogan calls French separatism bill 'guillotine' of democracy
Erdogan has already denounced the proposed measures as "anti-Muslim". Photo: Adem ALTAN/AFP

The draft legislation has been criticised both inside France and abroad for stigmatising Muslims and giving the state new powers to limit speech and religious groups.

“The adoption of this law, which is openly in contradiction of human rights, freedom of religion and European values, will be a guillotine blow inflicted on French democracy,” said Erdogan in a speech in Ankara.

The current version of the planned law would only serve the cause of extremism, putting NGOs under pressure and “forcing young people to choose between their beliefs and their education”, he added.

READ ALSO: What’s in France’s new law to crack down on Islamist extremism?

“We call on the French authorities, and first of all President (Emmanuel) Macron, to act sensibly,” he continued. “We expect a rapid withdrawal of this bill.”

Erdogan also said he was ready to work with France on security issues and integration, but relations between the two leaders have been strained for some time.

France’s government is in the process of passing new legislation to crack down on what it has termed “Islamist separatism”, which would give the state more power to vet and disband religious groups judged to be threats to the nation.

Erdogan has already denounced the proposed measures as “anti-Muslim”.

READ ALSO: Has Macron succeeded in creating an ‘Islam for France’?

Last October, Erdogan questioned Macron’s “mental health”, accusing him of waging a “campaign of hatred” against Islam, after the French president defended the right of cartoonists to caricature the prophet Mohammed.

The two countries are also at odds on a number of other issues, including Libya, Syria and the eastern Mediterranean.