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‘Lizard Squad’ diverts Sony exec’s flight with bomb tweet, and threatens Xbox Live

It seems that the group which was allegedly responsible for yesterday's DDoS attack on the PlayStation Network – the so-called Lizard Squad – has also carried out a hoax bomb threat which targeted a Sony executive, John Smedley.

The Lizard Squad tweeted the following threat to American Airlines yesterday: "We have been receiving reports that @j_smedley's plane #362 from DFW to SAN has explosives on-board, please look into this."

Smedley, the President of Sony Online Entertainment (and the guy who was behind EverQuest way back in the nineties – our first outing into MMORPGs), first of all tweeted that his flight had been "diverted to Phoenix for security reasons", and then said it was "something about security and our cargo".

Smedley then confirmed: "Yes. My plane was diverted. Not going to discuss more than that. Justice will find these guys."

His plane ended up landing in Phoenix at around 14:00 local time (the above picture shows the searching of Flight 362's baggage on the tarmac).

The FBI (and possibly other security agencies) are now investigating the threat, and as we've seen in the past in the UK (remember Robin Hood airport?), the authorities really don't take kindly to these sort of hoaxes. As one commenter on Lizard Squad's tweet put it: "When you do big boy time in a Federal Pen you're going to be looking really stupid kid."

Related: More calls for Twitter to review abuse procedures as police investigate bomb threats against female journalists

The group claims to be affiliated with ISIS, and said of the PSN attack: "Today we planted the ISIS flag on @Sony's servers #ISIS #jihad". It also tweeted: "Kuffar don't get to play videogames until bombing of the ISIL stops."

Though the overall Twitter feed of the organisation hardly looks politically/religiously motivated, with much of the group's philosophy seeming to revolve around writing Lizard Squad on your forehead.

Still, they're clearly causing some trouble, and the group is hinting that the next target will be the Xbox: "Is anyone having issues with the Xbox Live Login servers?" it tweeted late last night, followed by, "Sup XBL Login, just performing tests" at around 4:00 this morning (GMT).

The latest move of the squad was (allegedly) to take the Vatican State website down: "Just took Vatican City offline, all kuffar shall die." One commenter said the site was indeed down six hours ago, just after the tweet was posted, but it appears to be back up and running now (at least for us).

With the media picking up on this in a big way, it's a fair bet the Lizard Squad are going to be busy making the most of the limelight, so we wouldn't bet against some sort of anti-Xbox action later today. Or some other high profile chicanery...

Image Credit: Ashley Cain