The hacker group, Anonymous, announced its plan on June 22 to strategically target the Westboro Baptist Church if church members picket the funerals of the victims killed during the racially-motivated church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17.
Following a series of tweets made by WBC promising to conduct its signature funeral pickets outside the victims' memorials, Anonymous declared its intentions to implement a “two pronged” strategy in response.
The cyber activist group says it will target the church both online and in person. Anonymous members, also referred to as "Anons," said they will hack the church’s website as well as take actions to disrupt the protesters' demonstration, reports International Business Times.
“The WBC maintains a rather large cyber infrastructure, and we will destroy this entirely by various means,” Anonymous stated. “On the ground, Anonymous will deploy operatives who will initiate our standard operating procedure for dealing with funeral pickets by the Westboro Baptist Church.”
Anonymous is calling for ‘hactivists’ attending the protests in Charleston scheduled for this week to remain masked and silent at all times. The nonviolent demonstrators intend to track WBC members’ locations and set up peaceful perimeters around any WBC picketers at the ceremonies, according to the New York Daily News.
“The goal is to contain these morons, and to block their hateful message in such a way as they can not be seen by those in the funeral procession or at the venue,” Anonymous’ instructions read.
Anonymous has not disclosed details regarding the plan for its latest online attack.
Since the mass murder at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, WBC posted tweets referring to the shooting as “God’s judgment,” and with the tagline “#GodSentTheShooter.”
The network of "hactivists" also pledged to renew its five-year campaign against the Kansas church known for protesting LGBT support, school shootings and combat veterans. Its bold signs have featured offensive statements such as “Thank God For Dead Soldiers.”
WBC has also been called "arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
A spokesman for Anonymous told NY Daily News in an email that the organization is watching Westboro “like a hawk,” adding: “My friend you have not seen anything yet. We have already collected a huge trove of data, we just need to sort through it. And we only officially began this Op today. Buckle up, follow the Twitter — we have some truly juicy stuff in the works.”
Photo Credit: Twitter via NY Daily News