Notorious hacker collective Anonymous say they have foiled an ISIS attack on Italy.
Anonymous declared war on ISIS in the days after the devastating Paris attacks, which killed over 100 people. A representative of the group wearing their signature Guy Fawkes mask delivered an address in a video posted on Youtube. The Anonymous member announced “Operation Paris,” speaking about the need for believers in liberty to band together and “fight tyranny and obscurantism.”
“We are Anonymous. We are legion. Expect Us.”
Anonymous vowed to “hunt down” terrorists, using all the resources at their disposal.
The announcement that Anonymous have foiled an Italy terror attack came just today.
“‘In this month we are working in silence. We have already foiled 1 attack #ISIS against #Italy, we hope to block others.'”
The group made the announcement on its Operation Paris twitter account. The activity and movements of ISIS are difficult to discern, as the hacker group prides itself on being a collective without a central bureaucracy, leader or media go-between, however the Daily Mail believes that the announcement just released is a legitimate one.
Few details about the anti-terror operation have been provided.
IBT Times reported earlier this month that Anonymous helped to foil terror attacks on New York and Tunisia.
Security expert Michael Smith spoke to the press, saying that the group GhostSec, an affiliate of Anonymous, had provided information to authorities that was used in turn to to disrupt some potentially-devastating ISIS operations.
“It is my understanding that data collected by the group, and presented to law enforcement and intelligence officials by me, was helpful to authorities in Tunisia, who disrupted a suspected Islamic State cell around 4 July,”
Anonymous claimed to have taken down more than 6,000 Twitter accounts linked to the terror group in the weeks after the Paris attacks.
Operation Paris was not strictly the first campaign the hacker group had declared against the jihadists. A campaign called Operation ISIS was announced after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris in January. The November Paris attacks appeared to strengthen the resolve of the hackers and their commitment to debilitating ISIS, and #OpParis was announced in a viral video message in the days following the attack, according to The Telegraph.
Speaking to IBT Times about Anonymous splinter GhostSec, an insider told the full story of how the hackers foiled the attack on Tunisia. The insider had the following to say.
“GhostSec is constantly monitoring social media and the internet for threats against governments and its citizens. On 2 July, we encountered an Islamic State account engaging in threats against tourists in Tunisia. They made references to a suicide bomber in an area near the Homut Souk market, which is a very populated area.
“They also made direct threats against British and Jewish tourists, so we began looking for events near areas that those nationalities visited. We located two churches in the direct vicinity that were holding services where British and Jewish tourists frequented. We collected all of the relevant intel and evidence and forwarded it to the FBI through our government contact.
“Two days later, we were debriefed that arrests had been made as a result of our intelligence.”
The story of how ISIS foiled the attack on U.S. soil is less fleshed-out. It is known that GhostSec provided leads to authorities that assisted them in identifying dubious activities slated to take place in New York on July 4. The FBI was able to identify the would-be perpetrators, and more than 10 arrests reportedly took place in the the lead-up to the day of the planned attack. It is believed the ISIS terrorists chose the July 4 Independence Day date to take advantage of the fact that large crowds would be gathered in dense areas in a manner that befits terror strategy and allows the killers to maximize carnage and loss of life.
Security expert Michael Smith was only able to confirm that data provided by Anonymous was used to foil the Tunisia terror operation, not the New York terror operation.
It is hoped that more details about Anonymous’ foiling of the Italian operation will emerge soon. It is not clear at this stage whether the active GhostSec splinter was involved in orchestrating the new Anonymous anti-terror victory.
[Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images]