Bulgaria says it has arrested a hacker suspected of belonging to an Islamist network that targeted more than 3,500 websites worldwide. Bulgarian public radio says the suspect is a resident student originally from Syria.
Bulgaria's interior ministry on Wednesday said the man is accused of belonging to the Middle East Cyber Army (MECA), whose members are suspected of changing websites' content and posting messages in English and Arabic.
One incident involved praise for the deadly gun attack on staff of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January, the ministry said.
The suspect had communicated with other members of the group through secure channels, mapped out targets and exchanged "hacking instruments," said a statement from the ministry.
Public BNR radio quoted official sources as saying the suspect was a 21-year-old student from Syria who had been living in Bulgaria with his parents for more than 20 years.
Last week, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said its website was attacked by a group calling itself "The Cyber Army of the Khilafah."
"We will continue to do our work and document what is happening in Syria," the Observatory's director Rami Abdelrahman told the French news agency AFP.
He said the Observatory had previously received similar threats from the Syrian government and the al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front.
ipj/gsw (AFP, Reuters, dpa)