Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this



Group ties take-down of Sony game network to U.S. bombing in Iraq

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2014 (San Diego)—American Airlines diverted its flight 362 from Dallas to San Diego, landing in Phoenix after a group claiming ties to the terrorist group ISIS tweeted a threat stating explosives were on board. 

The tweet from the group calling itself Lizard Squad referenced Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley, who was on board.  Earlier today, Lizard Squad hackers reportedly took down Sony Playstation’s network after tweeting that the group had planted the ISIS flag on Sony’s servers. 

The tweet was sent with the hashtag #ISIS #jihad.

The hackers also posted a tweet to Smedley’s Twitter account displaying video of the World Trade towers being hit by planes during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York with the hashtag #PrayForFlight362.

ISIS is the Islamic jihadist terrorist organization that originated in Syria and later invaded Iraq, slaughtering and torturing people who refuse to convert to Islam. ISIS declared an Islamic caliphate and now calls itself the Islamic State. 

ISIS has vowed retribution against the U.S. after U.S. military planes bombed ISIS forces in an effort to save hundreds of thousands of displaced Iraqi people and U.S. embassy personnel.

A tweet by Lizard Squad stated, “Kuffar don’t get to play videogames until bombing of the ISIL stops.” Kuffar is an Arabic term that’s a derogatory name for non-Muslims, according to Urban dictionary.

Sony’s executive, Smedley, tweeted that his plane was diverted in mid-flight, adding, “Not going to discuss more than that. Justice will find these guys.”

Passengers were grounded for four hours in Phoenix.  CBS in Phoenix reports that no explosives were found and the flight ultimately continued to San Diego.

A statement issued by Sony indicated that the FBI is investigating the threat and that further details cannot be released “as this has now become a matter of national security.”

Mark Arabo, a national leader of Iraqi Christians in the U.S. had this response to the ISIS threat against a U.S. airliner. "It has become clear that ISIS is not simply a threat to the Middle Eastern Region, but to the safety and well-being of American citizens," Arabo told East County Magazine. "We believe that the longer ISIS remains uncontained, the higher the likelihood is that their reach hits home. The Obama Administration must be quick to confront the realities of the humanitarian disaster occurring in Iraq, and the imminent threat that ISIS poses to the United States." 

Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.