The hacktivist group Anonymous claims to have uncovered ISIS plans to attack multiple locations Sunday — including a threat to a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Survivor event being held in the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
In addition to the attack reportedly planned in Atlanta, Anonymous revealed that there are also plans from ISIS to attack multiple venues in Paris, just days after the devastating attacks in the French capital; a concert featuring the band Five Finger Death Punch in Milan, Italy; the University Pastoral Day in Lebanon; a celebration known as the Al Jihad, One Day One Juz in Indonesia; and the global Catholic Church celebrations devoted to the Feast of Christ the King.
Along with the list of areas and events being targeted by ISIS, Anonymous also released a statement, stating that their goal is to alert the people planning to attend the events to the possibility of a terrorist attack, as well as an even bigger goal of, perhaps, forcing ISIS to cancel the attacks.
“The goal is to make sure the whole world, or at least the people going to these events, know that there have been threats and that there is possibility of an attack to happen. Another goal is to make sure Daesh [the Arabic name for ISIS] knows that the world knows and cancels the attacks, which will disorientate them for a while.”
According to the New York Daily News, although the FBI is taking the ISIS threat against the WWE event being held in Atlanta seriously, the FBI also said that they do not have “specific or credible information” that the Philips Arena wrestling match is an actual ISIS target.
“We have, however, made the proper notifications as we continue to work closely with our law enforcement and private sector partners to keep our community safe,” said a statement released by the FBI.
In response to the reports of a potential attack from ISIS, WWE officials say that the show will go on.
“WWE Survivor Series is currently scheduled as planned while we investigate the matter with federal, state and local authorities,” WWE said in a statement. The Survivor Series is one of WWE’s four original pay-per-view wrestling competitions, held first in 1987. The event planned for Sunday will feature seven face-offs that will include the Diva’s Championship match.
“All proof was submitted to official authorities all around the globe days ago. They have it and it is their responsibility to do something with it. But because they have not done anything with it yet and it’s almost the 22nd, we have taken matters into our hands. We only take the responsibility of warning civilians (in case the authorities do not act well enough).”
Anonymous further claims that they have, as a collective, “seen and received threats from several” ISIS accounts, but stresses that they do not believe these “threats” are “regular,” but are credible, since they all focused on the same date of Sunday, November 22, 2015.
In an interview with International Business Times, Anonymous said that it had given proof of the reported plans to attack to the M15 intelligence agency in the United Kingdom, to both the CIA and the FBI in the United States, and the Australian government, but that it has no plans to release the actual proof to the public.
“If we share the proof [publicly], everyone will start calling it fake because screenshots can be edited and accounts can be deleted. We have purposely not shared account links publicly because they would be shut down immediately and then no one would believe the proof.”
Anonymous declared that it will wage a cyber war against terrorists just last week, after ISIS took responsibility for the planned attacks in several locations throughout the city of Paris that eventually claimed the lives of 130 people. In a video announcing the group’s new focus on ISIS, a voice can be heard saying, “Expect massive cyber-attacks. War is declared. Get prepared. Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down.”
[Image credit: Matthew Lloyd / Getty Images]