Bahrain websites attacked as it holds parliamentary election

Nov 11, 2022, 4:22 AM | Updated: Nov 12, 2022, 4:50 am
This is a locator map for the Gulf Cooperation Council member states: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar,...

This is a locator map for the Gulf Cooperation Council member states: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Bahrain voted Saturday in a parliamentary and local election just hours after hackers targeted government websites in the island kingdom that is in the midst of a decade-long crackdown on dissent.

The Interior Ministry did not identify the websites targeted, but the country’s state-run Bahrain News Agency could not be reached online nor could the website for Bahrain’s parliament. Bahrain’s election website could not be accessed from abroad for several hours, though it and the news agency’s website later were restored.

“Websites are being targeted to hinder the elections and circulate negative messages in desperate attempts that won’t affect the determination of citizens who will go to the polling stations,” the Interior Ministry said.

Screenshots taken by internet users showed a picture after the hack claiming it was carried out by a previously unknown account called Al-Toufan, or “The Flood” in Arabic. Social media accounts associated with Al-Toufan said the group targeted the parliament’s website “due to the persecution carried out by the Bahraini authorities, and in implementation of the popular will to boycott the sham elections.”

The account claimed Saturday afternoon it took down another government website, which wasn’t reachable from abroad.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Bahrain said it had been the target of a “state-backed cyberattack in an attempt to derail the electoral process.” It did not name the state it believed carried out the attack.

“All systems are operational, and the voting process has not been affected,” it added.

Bahrain state television aired footage of people voting in the polls, with the state-run news agency describing the election as going “smoothly” across 55 polling sites in the country.

The attack happened just hours ahead of the parliamentary and municipal elections in Bahrain. Voters are picking the 40 members of the lower house of Bahrain’s parliament, the Council of Representatives. The parliament’s upper house, the Consultative Council, is appointed by royal decree by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Bahrain has voted in parliamentary and local elections every four years since 2002 after the island became a kingdom.

However, Bahrain is in the midst of a decade-long crackdown on all dissent after the 2011 Arab Spring protests, which saw the island’s Shiite majority and others demanding more political freedom.

Since Bahrain put down the protests with the help of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, it has imprisoned Shiite activists, deported others, stripped hundreds of their citizenship and closed down its leading independent newspaper.

A banned Shiite opposition group and others have called on voters to boycott elections ever since. Protests against the election have been held in recent days, including during the visit of Pope Francis to the island.

“Bahrain was once viewed as a promising model for political reform and democratic transition, but it has become one of the Middle East’s most repressive states,” the Washington-based group Freedom House said.

Bahrain, about the size of New York City, is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

___

Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Jorge Rodriguez, from the Venezuelan government delegation, center, speaks to the media as he arriv...
Associated Press

Venezuela’s gov, opponents resume talks; US eases sanction

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Venezuela’s government and its opposition on Saturday agreed to create a U.N.-managed fund to finance health, food and education programs for the poor, while the Biden administration eased some oil sanctions on the country in an effort to boost the newly restarted talks between the sides. The agreement signed in Mexico […]
1 day ago
FILE - View of the Jose Antonio Anzoategui oil complex in Barcelona, Anzoategui State, Venezuela, J...
Associated Press

Biden eases Venezuela sanctions as opposition talks resume

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Saturday eased some oil sanctions on Venezuela in an effort to support newly restarted negotiations between President Nicolás Maduro’s government and its opposition. The Treasury Department is allowing Chevron to resume “limited” energy production in Venezuela after years of sanctions that have dramatically curtailed oil and gas profits […]
1 day ago
Pakistan's former Prime Minister and opposition leader Imran Khan, center in seated, addresses to h...
Associated Press

Pakistan’s ex-PM Khan says his party to quit all assemblies

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s former premier Imran Khan said Saturday his party was quitting the country’s regional and national assemblies, as he made his first public appearance since being wounded in a gun attack earlier this month. Khan, a former cricket star turned politician, was ousted in a no-confidence vote in parliament in April. He […]
1 day ago
FILE - This file booking photo provided by the Delaware Department of Justice shows Barry Croft Jr....
Associated Press

Judge denies bid for new trial in Whitmer kidnapping case

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge has denied a new trial request by two men convicted of conspiring to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Lawyers for Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. alleged misconduct by a juror and unfairness by U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker following their conviction by a federal jury […]
1 day ago
FILE - This photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections shows Kevin Johnson.  A federa...
Associated Press

Judge denies 19-year-old’s ask to attend father’s execution

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge has denied a request from a 19-year-old woman to allow her to watch her father’s death by injection, upholding a Missouri law that bars anyone under 21 from witnessing an execution. Kevin Johnson is set to be executed Tuesday for killing Kirkwood, Missouri, Police Officer William McEntee in […]
1 day ago
FILE - This March 6, 2014, file photo shows the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the nation's only unde...
Associated Press

US nuclear waste repository begins filling new disposal area

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Workers at the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository have started using a newly mined disposal area at the underground facility in southern New Mexico. Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant made the announcement this week, saying the first containers of waste to be entombed in the new area came […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Bahrain websites attacked as it holds parliamentary election