The loosely organized collective of computer hackers called Anonymous has claimed its next target in a YouTube video. Called “Op Charlie Hebdo,” short for Operation Charlie Hebdo, the group says it will target “al Qaeda, the Islamic State and other terrorists.”
The video, released Thursday on the group’s Belgian YouTube account, features a person wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, which has been adopted as a symbol of the Anonymous movement. The figure then says in French that Anonymous is “declaring war against you, the terrorists.” A video watermark bears the phrase “#OpCharlieHebdo.”
â€” OpCharlieHebdo (@OpCharlieHebdo) January 9, 2015
Anonymous also has released statements on Twitter and the text-sharing site TinyPaste condemning the attack at Charlie Hebdo’s Paris office, in which 12 people were murdered. The group says it will track down and close any social network accounts belonging to terrorists to avenge the deaths. On Twitter, the group requested the help of volunteers to notify it about social media profiles belonging to terrorists.
"Anonymous has always fought for the freedom of speech, and will never let this right besmirched,” the group said in a statement. The group of activists and hackers claims to defend democracy and has previously carried out cyberattacks and other campaigns against the Church of Scientology, as well as governments, corporations and other organizations it deems a threat to human rights.
The full text of its release follows.
Citizens of the world,
On Jan 7, 2015, freedom of speech has suffered hard. Terrorists breached into "Charlie Hebdo" newspaper's premises and shot several satirical cartoon artists, journalists and two policemen. The criminals are still on the run. Disgusted and also shocked, we can't fall down, it is our responsibility to react.
First, we wish to express our condolences to the victims' families of this cowardly and despicable act. We are all affected by the death of Cabu, Charb, Tignous and Wolinski, who were great artists that impressed by their talents all the history of the press and died for its freedom. We do not forget other victims of the attack, just because they were across terrorists' way, and other injured people still fighting for their life.
It's obvious that some people don't want, in a free world, this sacrosanct right to express in any way one's opinions. Anonymous has always fought for the freedom of speech, and will never let this right besmirched by obscurantism and mysticism. "Charlie Hebdo," historical figure of satirical journalism, has been targeted. Anonymous must remind every citizen that the press' freedom is a [foundation] of the democracy. Opinions, speech, newspaper articles without threats nor pressure, all those things are rights you can't change.
Tackle the freedom of speech is a direct hit to democracy. Expect a massive reaction from us, because this freedom is what we've been always fighting for.
We are Anonymous.
We are legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.