The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters, who have claimed responsibility for an ongoing series of cyber attacks against U.S. banks, today announced phase three of their operation in response to the continuing availability of the YouTube video 'Innocence of Muslims.'

"The attacks on banking websites began in mid-September, flooding a different site each time with massive amounts of useless data requests, essentially blocking the sites from the rest of the Internet," writes TechNewsDaily's Paul Wagenseil. "Such denial-of-service attacks don't harm the Web servers being targeted, or the data they contain, but do inconvenience bank customers, especially small businesses that depend on continuous access to online banking."

"While running the phase 2 of Operation, a main copy of the insulting film was removed from YouTube and that caused the phase 2 to be suspended," the hackers stated in a Pastebin post. "al-Qassam cyber fighters measured this act positively and a bit sign of rationalism in the U.S. government and for this reason suspended the operation for one month. ... Now at the end of one month time it is seen that other copies of the film yet exist in YouTube so we announce the Phase 3 of Operation Ababil will start this week."

"The hacktivists threaten to attack 'a number' of American banks on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during work hours," writes Softpedia's Eduard Kovacs. "It remains to be seen if any of the organizations targeted in the past implemented any additional security measures to keep their websites online during the attacks. It’s also worth noting that according to the hackers' latest calculations, the attacks will go on for 11 weeks."