PARIS, France, Sunday January 18, 2015 – The notorious hacking group Anonymous has “declared war” on Islamist extremists after the bloody terror attack on Paris’ satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last Wednesday.
Anonymous announced its operation #OpCharlieHebdo last week, while a Twitter account @OpCharlieHebdo posted a video paying tribute to the 11 journalists killed in the attack, according to a Mashable report.
Anonymous reportedly began their campaign in earnest on Saturday by hacking the website ansar-alhaqq.net, a website described as a jihadist site by French media.
According to a report in USA Today, the “hacktivist” group vowed to fight for the “inviolate and sacred right to express opinions in any way.”
They reportedly also warned that those who stand in the way of freedom of expression can expect “a massive frontal assault from us, because the struggle for the defence of these freedoms is the foundation of our movement.”
Anonymous reportedly signed off by saying: “We will not forget. We will not forgive. Dread us.”
The hacking group is also credited with a YouTube video, in which the electronically altered voiceover, spoken in French, announces: “We are declaring war against you, the terrorists.”
The video, which has attracted millions of views, shows a figure disguised in a Guy Fawkes mask – which has become the face of several modern protests and is recognised as the signature of Anonymous – vowing to close social media accounts with links to terrorists.
“It’s obvious that some people don’t want, in a free world, this sacrosanct right to express in any way one’s opinions. Anonymous has always fought for the freedom of speech, and will never let this right besmirched by obscurantism and mysticism,” Anonymous was quoted as saying.
“Expect a massive reaction from us, because this freedom is what we’ve been always fighting for.”
Anonymous is a group made up of hackers and activists who claim to be protecting and defending democracy.
In the past, they have used Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) as a way of bringing down websites by flooding them with traffic until they go offline.
To date, Anonymous is believed to have carried out denial of service attacks on websites belonging to governments, as well as religious and corporate organisations.