A hacking group called Anonymous Sudan took X, formerly known as Twitter, offline in more than a dozen countries on Tuesday morning in an attempt to pressurise Elon Musk into launching his Starlink service in their country.

X was down for more than two hours, with thousands of users affected.

“Make our message reach to Elon Musk: ‘Open Starlink in Sudan’,” the hackers posted on Telegram.

X is the latest victim of the gang attacking to “benefit Sudan and Islam”.

Over several weeks of private conversations with the group on the chat app Telegram, the BBC spoke to the hackers about their methods and motives.

One member of the group, who calls himself Crush, told the BBC that Tuesday’s attack flooded X’s servers with huge amounts of traffic to take it offline – the same blunt and relatively unsophisticated hacking techniques for which the gang is known.

The outage-tracking site Downdetector said nearly 20,000 outage reports were logged by users in the US and the UK, with a far higher number of people likely to have been affected.

Another hacking group member – Hofa – said the so-called DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack was aimed at raising awareness about the civil war in Sudan which is “making the internet very bad and it goes down quite often for us”.

X has not publicly acknowledged the disruption caused, and Mr Musk has not responded to questions to launch his satellite internet service in Sudan.

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