David Clarke, former Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisc. and a vocal supporter of Donald Trump, today became the latest victim of a group describing itself as “the Turkish cyber army.” Clarke’s Twitter account was hijacked on Monday afternoon, following similar attacks last week on conservative media figures.
Clarke is a somewhat prominent Trump ally who spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention. He had met with Trump about a possible administration post which never came to fruition.
The attackers, calling themselves Ayyildiz Tim, replaced Clarke’s Twitter header image with one of their own and posted a warning that his “DM correspondence has been captured and interesting information has been reached!” Clarke’s account seems to have been recovered by 4 p.m. EST on Monday.
Ayyildiz Tim—translated as “Star and Crescent Team,” a reference to the Turkish flag – last week also seized the Twitter accounts of former Fox News hosts Greta Van Susteren and Eric Bolling. According to New York magazine contributor Yashar Ali, the hackers used Van Susteren’s account to send direct messages to President Trump, who follows both figures on Twitter.
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Ayyildiz Tim appears to have previously hacked entities including a United Nations group and an obscure English elementary school. The group’s messages have included both Islamist sentiments and support for longtime Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. While President Trump has recently praised Erdogan, Islamists have been inflamed by the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.