Back in January, in the wake of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, the Anonymous collective declared war on the Islamic State with #OpParis (Operation Paris).
Recently, they sort of declared war again, releasing a video Monday in response to the latest Paris terrorist attacks. TheHackerNews.com called it a declaration of “total war.” Anonymous told the world that they were about to “launch the biggest operation ever,” and in the video, warned the Islamic State to “expect massive cyber-attacks.”
“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.”
In response Monday, the Islamic State released a statement of its own, resorting to the always effective tactic of name-calling:
“The #Anonymous hackers threatened in a new video release that they will carry out a major hack operation on the Islamic state (idiots).”
Oh dear. I’m sure that hurt. It was, in fact, the cause of great hilarity.
The following video was sent to News2Share by Anonymous:
We can agree or not agree that our leaders have failed us. What is certainly correct is that governments by their very nature have limited options. Political will is the fuel that drives military operations. Before both world wars, the United States lacked the political will to get involved until certain conditions were met.
Al Qaeda discovered that America does have the political will to do what must be done in response to terrorist attacks, as the Bush administration chased them running with their tails between their legs from Afghanistan in 2001. The Invasion of Iraq in 2003 was far less successful. Nonetheless, the United States sustained a decade-long effort to defeat its enemies in the Middle East, including enemies it had created in the process.
That will, as a result of the cost of that long war, has eroded America’s ability to respond as it once might have. President Obama is constrained by this reality. Anonymous is not.
While Russians and Americans and Iraqis and Kurds and other local groups pound the Islamic State both on the ground and from the air (something of which Anonymous does not approve), Anonymous has gone for their soft underbelly in an effective cyberwar.
ISIL called Anonymous “idiots” but it is Anonymous, by shutting down over 5,500 Twitter accounts belonging to Islamic State members in the first 24 hours, Anonymous showed who the true idiots are. The Islamic State had sent advice to its members on how to avoid being hacked, but this was just more cause for humor among the hacktivist group:
— GhostSecPI (@GhostSecPI) November 16, 2015
So ineffective were these measures that on Wednesday, Anonymous announced in another video that the count was now at 20,000 accounts. Their masked spokesman announced “this is only the beginning” and that there is no longer “any safe place online”:
Hello citizens of the world, we are anonymous.
It is time to realize social media is a solid platform for ISIS’s communication as well as neutering there ideas of terror amoung youth, but at the same time social media has proven that it is an advanced weapon. We must all work together and use social media to eliminate the accounts belonging to terrorists. More than 20,000 Twitter Accounts belonging to ISIS were just taken down by Anonymous. You can find a list of all the Twitter Accounts in the description. This is only the beginning.
ISIS; we will hunt you, Take down your sites, Accounts, Emails, and expose you…From now on, no safe place for you online…You will be treated like a virus, and we are the cure.
They closed with their signature warning:
We are anonymous.
We are legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
ISIS…it is too late to Expect Us.
If the Islamic State wanted attention, they have gotten it. It seems very unlikely they will enjoy the result.
Photo: From Twitter
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.