The KKK in Ferguson, Missouri, and the hacker group Anonymous continued to wage a war of words this week, but the verbal and online confrontation risked escalating into real violence when a local Ku Klux Klan leader threatened that anyone wearing an Anonymous mask could be shot, and then followed that threat with another vowing to “hunt you down and tear those masks from your face.”
The second threat also employed a racist epithet, describing the members of Anonymous as “pathetic n****r lovers.”
The distinctive mask worn in public by protesters who identify with the group was popularized in the 2006 film adaptation of the comic book series V For Vendetta, in which a lone anti-government terrorist hides his identity by donning a mask representing Guy Fawkes, a 17th-century English militant who attempted to blow up the English Parliament.
Local Ferguson KKK leader Frank Ancona earlier threatened that the Klan would utilize “lethal force” against protesters in the wake of the upcoming Darren Wilson grand jury decision. If Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson on August 9, is not indicted by the grand jury now investigating the shooting, the conventional belief is that the ensuing protests could erupt into full-scale riots.
But Anacona took those fears a step further, declaring in a recent TV interview that he was aware of specific violent threats.
“It kind of came about from hundreds of calls we’ve been getting from residents in St. Louis County concerned with things that they’ve seen on social media. Random attacks on whites, D.C. sniper-style shootings, police officers being threatened that their wives are gonna be raped, and that they’re all targets.”
Anacona did not provide any further specifics or information on where he learned of the alleged threats.
The threat led to an “operation” by Anonymous in which, through online sleuthing, exposed the identities of other Ferguson area KKK members.
On Tuesday, Anacona appeared to declare Anonymous members — or presumably, anyone wearing a V For Vendetta Guy Fawkes mask — fair game for “hunting season.”
— Anon Cop Watch (@AnonCopWatch) November 19, 2014
An even more explicit threat followed on Wednesday, attributed to Anacona, and directed against members of Anonymous.
“You pathetic n***** lovers are going down, we’re NOT HIDING. WE’RE NOT ASHAMED OF WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE REPRESENT. THE INVISIBLE EMPIRE CANNOT AND WILL NOT BE OVERTHROWN, [sic]” the message signed with Anacona’s name read. “We will hunt you down and tear those masks from your face. You’ll be strung up next to the chimps. On display for the whole world to see. The Klan is to be feared, not threatened.”
Anonymous responded with a video message of its own, returning the threats issued by the Ferguson KKK and vowing to shield “peaceful protesters” from both the Klan and the Ferguson police. That video can be viewed below.