Anonymous Takes Down 20,000 ISIS-Affiliated Twitter Accounts, Threatens “No Safe Place” for ISIS Online
In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, President Francois Hollande ordered fresh airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq and Syria. He also ordered a country-wide raid to round up and arrest everyone who was connected to the attack on November 13, leading to the apprehension of the mastermind behind the plot. Both actions were in direct response to the terror attacks, and Hollande has begun to do all he can to punish those responsible.
Meanwhile, in the digital universe, ISIS keeps recruiting. In the beginning of the week, ISIS released a video declaring their intention to stage further attacks on the Western world, most notably New York City. Their significant presence online and on social media is meant to recruit US citizens to their cause, and thus turn citizens against their country. ISIS’s online presence is a huge threat to national security, and one that our world leaders seem to overlook.
But not Anonymous.
The notorious “hacktivists” are most well known for targeting NSA, North Korea, and now, ISIS. In the video above, the members of Anonymous appear in Guy Fawkes masks, their M.O., and declare an all-out cyber war against those operating as ISIS online.
And it seems to be working.
As of time published, Anonymous has taken down more than 20,000 Twitter accounts associated with or operated by members of ISIS, and they have also released the names of the accounts, in moves they call part of a “total war” against the terrorist association.
The video above begins with a no-nonsense speech by the spokesperson for Anonymous, wearing his signature Guy Fawkes mask:
“Hello, citizens of the world. We are Anonymous. It is time to realize that social media is a solid platform for ISIS’s communication as well as neutering their ideas of terror amongst youth. But at the same time, social media has proved it is an advanced weapon. We must all work together and use social media to eliminate the accounts used by 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.
We are anonymous.
We are legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
ISIS…it is too late to Expect Us.”
Digital war may be safer, but that doesn’t mean that the efforts of Anonymous are not important. We would do well not to underestimate the insidious nature of ISIS’s online recruiting efforts, and the potentially devastating effects they could have if, as is most likely happening on American soil, certain citizens of the United States are radicalized by the terrorist group and join their jihad.
Anonymous have described their hacking methods as potentially “better than any world government’s tools to combat ISIS online.” Instead of bombs, missiles, and guns, they’re using sophisicated computer code and our collective righteous anger.