Hacktivists Anonymous have declared war against ISIS after the Paris attacks on Friday night. The hacker group said it would use its knowledge to “unite humanity” and warned the terrorists to “expect us” after the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the wave of terror attacks that killed 129 people, according to The Huffington Post.
Behind their signature mask, a spokesperson speaking in French said: “Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down.” The hacker group continued, “You should know that we will find you and we will not let you go. We will launch the biggest operation ever against you. Expect massive cyber attacks. War is declared. Get prepared. The French people are stronger than you and will come out of this atrocity even stronger.”
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Friday night attacks. The death toll in Paris currently stands at 129 people while another 415 people were admitted to hospital of which 42 are in a critical condition.
Anonymous also said, “We are furious with the repeated slaughter of innocent citizens in the name of a peaceful religion, you clearly don’t respect you beliefs. And you clearly have no respect for human life and evolution. We are coming to get you, we will be hitting you harder than ever.”
In an online statement distributed through supporters, the terror group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant identified the eight perpetrators of Friday’s attacks as its own militants, describing them wearing explosive belts and armed with machine guns while carrying out the deadly attacks.
“Eight brothers carrying explosive belts and guns targeted areas in the heart of the French capital that were specifically chosen in advance,” the statement said.
A number of videos from Anonymous appeared online this weekend in French, Italian, and English, with presenters wearing the hacking collective’s signature Guy Fawkes mask.
“We are going to launch the most important operation ever carried out against you,” a robed figure warns in one video, as news footage of the attacks plays in the background. “War is unleashed. Prepare yourselves.”
Anonymous videos appeared with the usual slogan — “We Are Anonymous, We Do Not Forgive, We Do Not Forget, Expect Us!” — is directed at Islamic State in multiple videos, Tweets, and the “dox” list, a term for revealing Web users’ identities.
It isn’t the first time that Anonymous has declared war against ISIS as they made similar threats after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January. Anonymous published a list of Twitter accounts it claims are spreading propaganda in support of ISIS.
Terrorists targeted seven locations in Paris including restaurants and cafes where people were enjoying a Friday night out and Stade de France where France was playing a friendly football match against Germany. Eighty-nine people were killed when gunmen burst into Bataclan concert hall and started firing into the crowds who were half-an-hour into a gig by US rock band Eagles of Death Metal.
— Anonymous (@GroupAnon) November 15, 2015
Among the many victims was Brit Nick Anderson who worked with the band’s merchandise team. France has officially named four of the suicide bombers in Friday’s attack.
Belgian national Ibrahim Abdeslam, 31, blew himself up outside the Comptoir Voltaire restaurant. His brother, 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam has been declared wanted by French Police - it is believed he is on the run but it is not known if he is dead or alive.
Also named is 29-year-old French national Omar Ismail Mostefai, who was identified from a severed finger among the carnage at the Bataclan concert hall. A third attacker was Ahmed Almuhamed, a Syrian who reportedly arrived in Greece on a refugee boat. A fourth attacker has been named as Bilal Hadfi, also from Belgium.
As previously reported by NewsOXY from earlier this year, Anonymous vowed to strike ISIS after a London anti-terror agency arrested four men linked to Syria and the Islamic State after a plot to mount an attack in Britain. Counter-terrorism officials in London said one of the group may have had access to weapons and this was reflected by the fact armed officers led the anti-terror raid on his address.
Teaming up with hacker groups GhostSec and Ctrlsec, Anonymous managed to reveal 9,200 IS-linked social media accounts in March, with an Anonymous source called the “hub” of IS’s online activity, after shutting down a French extremist website within days of the attacks.
Anonymous has long attracted controversy for members’ brash virtual vigilantism and sometimes inaccurate identifications, which critics allege can put innocent Web users in danger. But their threats to IS may pose special difficulties, or opportunities, for the hackers themselves and the United States government.
U.S. Administration officials were on the defensive on Sunday after a pre-recorded interview with Barack Obama in which the president boasted of “containing” ISIS was rapidly overtaken by events in France. Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush said that the U.S. should directly arm the Kurdish Peshmerga forces as well as put a large military force on the ground in Syria to directly engage the group known as the Islamic State.
Anonymous has gained notoriety for its targeted cyber attacks ranged against diverse targets including Scientology, the KKK and the websites of national governments. In a statement posted online a French member of Anonymous is seen shrouded in a Guy Fawkes mask whilst declaring war on the terror group.