In a flagrant effort to undermine the work of the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly), a group of computer hackers, calling themselves “TheConficker,” attacked the Assembly’s site and replaced it with Azeri propaganda. They are linked to an Azerbaijan hacker group known as “Anti-Armenia Team.” The Assembly took prompt action and reclaimed control of its website.
Shortly after the cyber attack by Azeri nationals, Assembly Executive Director sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. The Assembly brought this act of cyber terrorism to the FBI’s attention, citing instances of previous attacks by Azerbaijan and Turkey against the Armenian National Institute (ANI) – a non-political, non-profit organized dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide – in 2016 and 2000. ANI is a sister organization of the Assembly.
Earlier this year, the Assembly informed the Senate and House Select Committees on Intelligence expressing concern regarding the undue influence of both Azerbaijan and Turkey on America’s democratic institutions. According to a recent report in The New Yorker magazine, Azerbaijan has ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) through the Mammadov family and the highest levels of the Azeri government, all of which have conducted business with American companies. Azerbaijan also continues to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Podesta Group, flaunting its caviar diplomacy.
The Assembly previously urged the Department of Justice to investigate the foreign trips illegally funded by Azerbaijan. “We respectfully request a full and thorough investigation by the Department of Justice into these groups and the full application of the law. The reported activities constitute plainly illegal behavior and strikes at the core of our Constitutional government through blatant foreign influence peddling,” the Assembly said in its letter to then Attorney General Loretta Lynch.