Hacker group Anonymous declared “total war” on the Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group on Sunday following the wave of attacks in Paris that killed at least 129 people and left dozens more in a critical condition.
A masked, French-speaking figure with a distorted voice is shown reading a statement from the group in the two-minute-long YouTube video [In French].
“War is declared. Get prepared,” the masked figure says in the video in reference to ISIS. “The French people are stronger than you and will come out of this atrocity even stronger. Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down. You should know that we will find you and we will not let you go. We will launch the biggest operation ever against you.”
The escalation in Anonymous’s operation against ISIS comes after at least seven suspected attackers carried out gun and bomb attacks against a number of civilian targets across the French capital, leaving 352 wounded and at least 99 in a critical condition. French police are continuing a manhunt for a man they believe took part in the attacks, identified as 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam.
Anonymous has targeted ISIS for a number of months, revealing the Twitter accounts of ISIS members and hacking a number of the group’s sites. U.S. magazine Foreign Policy estimates that the group has dismantled at least 149 of the extremist group’s affiliated websites, flagged approximately 101,000 Twitter accounts and nearly 6,000 propaganda videos.
Their campaign against ISIS began after the extremist group’s cyber wing hacked the Twitter accounts of U.S. CENTCOM and Newsweek, in January and February respectively, and the radical Islamist attacks on the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January.
Is Anonymous doing more for security than the NSA?
Given the NSA’s data gathering efforts are a clear constitutional violation of our right to privacy, and given the NSA’s actual results in combating terrorism appear to be useless if not outright counterproductive for security purposes, the answer seems to be “yes”.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock