Anonymous Hackers Took Down Part of ISIS Digital Infrastructure
ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is composed of a highly media-savvy group of murderers. One of the goals of their mayhem in the Middle East is the recruitment of the next generation of jihadist fighters. In a blow to their efforts, the “hacktivist” group Anonymous has hacked and attacked ISIS’s social media accounts.
Anonymous issued a press release (that was unsigned of course, but that could be traced to accounts managed by the hacktivist group), indicating that they took over and drove offline 80 websites linked to ISIS that were used for recruitment purposes, as well as for fund-raising and the circulation of their propaganda. Anonymous further reported that it deleted hundreds of terrorists’ social media accounts that were used to communicate future attacks against non-Muslim nations.
In their press released, the hacktivists pledged to continue their efforts until they “completely dismantled (ISIS’s) infrastructure.” The press release contained a link to a list of the Twitter accounts that were taken offline, and a list of ISIS websites that were removed.
The hacktivist are of course civilians who coordinate their work across computer networks that we can only hope are secure. Each member of Anonymous by working on this project is exposing himself or herself to the risk of being identified by ISIS or other terrorist groups, and targeted not for a hack attack, but for death.
The obvious question in all this is, why isn’t the American government, with the massive IT resources at its disposal, doing this? Aren’t the people at the NSA, CIA, and at military intelligence both better positioned for this work, and better protected? And isn’t this, you know, their job?
We have just finished a week spent wondering publicly at President Obama’s explicit unwillingness to use the term “Islamic terrorism,” and his insistence that the wave of terror attacks, including ISIS’s repeated mass murders of Christians now occurring in the territories they control, were each isolated, unrelated acts of violence. The attacks are deplorable of course, but properly handled essentially as police matters.
Meanwhile, individual Americans are journeying to Iraq to join the Kurds in their fight against ISIS, and Canada and other nations, but not ours, are stepping up their assistance, although the opportunity to assist any anti-terror faction in Syria has now been lost, and Libya has become a failed state, controlled by gangs of men with guns, a breeding ground for further terrorism.
Here is more from the Anonymous press release. They are words that more properly should come from the American government:
“We will hunt you…
From now on, no safe place for you…
You will be treated like a virus, and we are the cure.
We are Legion; we do not forgive, we do not forget, Expect us.”