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Hackers loyal to Anonymous claim attack on US tear gas company, website taken down
LONDON (AP) ' The website of a U.S. company whose tear gas has been used against demonstrators in Egypt is the latest to be broken into by the Anonymous movement, hackers claimed Tuesday.
In a statement posted to the Internet, hackers accused Combined Systems of being war profiteers who sell "mad chemical weapons to militaries and cop shops around the world."
The company did not respond to calls and emails ahead of U.S. business hours Tuesday.
Anonymous has claimed a series of Web attacks worldwide and has increasingly focused on security companies, law enforcement and governmental organizations. The group has often worked in tandem with the Occupy protest movement in the United States and has expressed solidarity with the pro-democracy protests across the Arab world.
On Tuesday Anonymous said it had targeted Combined Systems because it was supplying weaponry used to "to repress our revolutionary movements."
The hackers also claimed to have stolen and published personal information belonging to clients and employees of the Jamestown, Pennsylvania-based firm. Allegedly intercepted emails were pasted onto the bottom of the statement; one of them appeared to be a warning that Combined Systems' site had been sabotaged.
"Looks like our web hosts got hacked," the email says.
Neither the hackers' claims nor the authenticity of the emails could be immediately verified, although the website was down Tuesday. Messages left for half a dozen employees and technical support staff were not immediately returned.
The company says sells a variety of security wares, including aerosol grenades, sprays and handcuffs. Journalists and activists have reported finding the company's tear gas canisters at Egypt's Tahrir Square, where authorities have repeatedly cracked down on demonstrators with deadly force.
Last year Human rights group Amnesty International said that Combined Systems had delivered some 46 tons of ammunition ' including chemical irritants and tear gas ' to the Egyptian government in three separate shipments.
Amnesty pleaded with the U.S. government to stop the shipments, which it said should be suspended "until there is certainty that tear gas and other munitions, weaponry or other equipment aren't linked to bloodshed on Egyptian streets."