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Sony hacking turns scary: Message threatens ‘Interview’ audiences

While Hollywood continues to reel from the Sony hacking crisis, the mysterious, anonymous group that claimed responsibility for the hacking has issued a frightening warning: Death threats to anyone who goes to see “The Interview,” the Sony Pictures-produced film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco as American journalists enlisted to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

The group that calls itself the “Guardians of Peace” released a warning Tuesday — promising a violent “Christmas gift” for audiences who dare to see the film. The statement mentioned the 9/11 attacks and promised more vengeance for the “greed” of Sony Pictures. The alleged hackers’ message was sent to media outlets as part of its latest batch of purloined documents.

Here is the original text of the statement, which includes poor grammar and a less-than-clear sentence structure:

“We have already promised a Christmas gift to you. This is the beginning of the gift. We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places ‘The Interview’ be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.

“Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.) Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment. All the world will denounce the SONY.”

The Department of Homeland Security said there was “no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters,” but noted it was still analyzing the messages. The warning did prompt law enforcement in New York and Los Angeles to address measures to ramp up security.

“The Interview” premiered in Los Angeles last week and is expected to hit theaters in Chicago and elsewhere on Christmas Day. A Thursday premiere in New York was canceled.

Rogen and Franco pulled out of all media appearances Tuesday, canceling a Buzzfeed Q&A and Rogen’s planned guest spot Thursday on “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” The two stars had just appeared Monday on “Good Morning America” and Rogen guested on “The Colbert Report.” A representative for Rogen said he had no comment. A spokeswoman for Franco didn’t respond to queries Tuesday.

Contributing: AP