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We Skyped with a 19-Year-Old Islamist Hacker from Tunisia

And he really wants a job so he can marry his girlfriend.
June 26, 2013, 12:00am

A little while ago we were researching a local story and found that a website catering to the ethnic LGBT-minority in Copenhagen had been hacked. With hackers being a fairly boastful creed we were lead straight to a Facebook-page commemorating the handy work of a Tunisian hacker-team called Fallaga (referring to the armed anti-colonialists that chased the French out of Tunisia). It featured tons of religious propaganda and some greatest hits –mainly credit card hacks on a bunch of Israeli accounts. Curious to know more about this outfit we wrote them, and immediately after a dude who called himself  DR. X L got in touch. Via Skype he explained the intricacies of “Al Jihad Électronique” and the woes of job-hunting in post-Arab Spring Tunisia, which has become a primary recruiting ground for the large number of jihadists pouring into Syria of late. We never got a straight answer on why the Danish LGBT-site had been hacked, but people can probably connect those dots.

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VICE: So, who are you?
DR. X L: DR. X L is my nick. I took the name in 2010 when I was a fairly unknown hacker.

And what do you do when you’re not hacking infidels?
I am taking my high school exam. I have a lot of problems in school. I can’t study anymore. I can’t concentrate; all I can think about is hacking. I’m a geek.

Ok, moving on to hacking then, how did you get started?
In 2007 I was just a teenager chatting and playing games online. Mostly Counter-Strike. Someone in a chat room asked if I wanted to learn how to hack, so I said ‘yes, sure’. He hacked into my computer and attacked all my game and chat accounts. I was so angry. So I took it upon myself to learn hacking and after three months I hacked and destroyed his computer. I got my revenge.

But if this guy didn’t teach you, then who did?
I learned from the best hacking-school in the world. Google.

When did it become serious?
It really got going in 2012 when I met the Fallaga team. They put something new in my mind and they introduced me to the concept of “Al Jihad Électronique”. I began to work with them in an effort to stop anyone who aimed to destroy Islam.

And what is “Al Jihad Électronique” and what is Fallaga’s goal?
Our goal is to spread the word of Islam and to help or muslim brothers wherever they may be. And to destroy Israel.

And you have been quite busy with that lately, right?
Yes, on the 7th of April this year we began “Storm Attack 3” with the intent of destroying Israel online. This was a joint effort from all the Fallaga members where we hacked over 6,000 Facebook-accounts, countless websites and released the credit card details of more than 14,000 Israelis.

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How big is Fallaga, exactly?
We have about 60 team members between the age of 18 and 32. I am only 19. But our cause is shared by millions of Tunisians. We both defend our country and our religion, Islam.

A Fallaga team member chilling at the office.

Have you always been religious?
Yes, always. I believe in the end Islam will control the earth and after “Storm Attack 3” I received messages from all over the world praising me for the work I’ve been doing. This was after I destroyed the DNS configuration of 10.000 Israeli modems. To put it simply, I created a python script that can hack modem IPs and the DNS-settings so when you open your internet browser you will be taken to my index. I also received death threats for this.

Yeah, doesn’t that scare you off?
No, no no. I’ll be happy knowing that I’ve done good things for my religion. My family, my friends and my country will be proud of me. When I finish school I will destroy Israel together with my friends and teammates.

So your family knows you hack for Islam?
Only my brothers and my father. My mother doesn’t. I don’t tell her because she will be worried about me.

How about a wife? Are you married?
I have a girl, but I’m not yet married. Her father doesn’t know about me yet because I have nothing to offer her. He will be mad if he finds out she has a boyfriend with no money. One day, when I get a job and money, I will ask her father for her hand in marriage.

What sort of job would you like?
I would love to work with internet security. I have plenty of great ideas that could help all of the world’s banks to make their systems safe. Unfortunately there are no jobs in Tunisia and I can’t leave the country. I need someone to give me a chance.

If someone gave you a job, would you stop hacking?
Of course. I will use my skills to protect humanity. Right now I’m only hacking to help muslims that can’t fend for themselves, but I swear, one day, I will create something to help humanity. I want the whole world to know that Islam is not terrorism; Islam is peace.

Fallaga are gearing up for Storm Attack 5 (apparently they skipped number four) in a month’s time.