Westboro Baptist Church
Westboro Baptist Church Reuters

The war of words between radical religious group Westboro Baptist Church and hacker group Anonymous has continued to escalate as the Church accused the hackers of lying to the media.

Over the weekend, Anonymous, a group of hackers that sometimes launches denial-of-service attacks, posted a message to the Westboro Baptist Church saying it was going to go attack. In a press statement, it derided the group for its benighted gospel of hatred and fascist views, and promised it would target the group's web sites if it didn't stop protesting outside the funerals of military soldiers and the American Holocaust Museum.

Following this message, Westboro released a statement saying if Anonymous attempted to launch a DDoS on their websites, it would be warring with God. Most recently, Anonymous posted a message this morning saying the original message was a trap set up by attention whoring idiots.

Anonymous told its fellow members: It's a trap. They've got their ports wide open to harvest IPs to sue. Don't DDoS, and boycott Operation Westboro. If you really want to continue messing with them, just send them a few male prostitutes and faxes of Goatse.

However, according to Margie Phelps, Westboro Baptist Church's lawyer, spokesperson and daughter of the church's Pastor Fred Phelps, that wasn't true. She said Anonymous tried to attack their websites, including the main one www.Godhatesfags.com, and failed to do any damage. She said their later message was a lie to cover-up for their lack of success.

They can't have it both ways, if it wasn't them, why did it take them days before they said it wasn't them? Phelps said. They are attacking our websites unsuccessfully. They made a serious miscalculation. You don't come after the servants of God, I don't care what you have taken down in the past.

She said Westboro Baptist Church's websites have been targeted before, mainly by concerted efforts in various countries. In the past, she said, groups from the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Sweden have all tried to attack their site.

They got here late. We have been fighting off these attacks for years, she said.

Phelps said the media attention drove an increased amount of traffic to the site. If anything, she said, this may have slowed down the site. However, she said since then, Westboro has increased bandwidth on its sites.

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