Hackers took over the Twitter account of the Bahraini foreign minister on Saturday just 10 days after a cyber attack on the official news agency of neighboring Qatar.
The hack, which purported to be carried out in the name of a fringe militant group, came after the Bahraini authorities dissolved the kingdom’s last major opposition movement and after regime forces launched a brutal crackdown on the house of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Issa Qassem.
Bloodied bodies, demolished mosques and what appeared to be a child’s illustration of war rolled down the official Twitter page of Foreign Minister Khaled bin Ahmad al-Khalifa, a member of the royal family.
The pictures were captioned: “What the petrodollar media doesn’t show you,” a reference to the satellite television channels funded by neighboring Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
The foreign ministry confirmed the hack, blaming it on the “terrorist party,” without elaborating.
The developments come as the fate of Ayatollah Qassem remains unknown following the May 23 crackdown on Diraz.
On May 23, regime forces raided Diraz, which has been under a military siege for almost a year, and stormed the home of Sheikh Qassem, the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s Shia majority.
At least five demonstrators were martyred and dozens more injured during the crackdown which also saw more than 280 people arrested.
The fresh wave of pro-democracy protests broke out on May 21, when a Bahraini court sentenced Sheikh Qassim to one year in jail and ordered him to pay $265,266 in fines.
Last year, the cleric was also stripped of his citizenship, which sparked repeated sit-ins outside his residence in Diraz.