As we’ve seen countless times before, Anonymous gets credited with a lot of operations and acts that may or may not be their actual doing. It’s something that is possible with a loose group of activists and hackers who don’t necessarily have some sort of leadership hierarchy or clubhouse. And there’s a lot of respect for that because the label “Anonymous” gets people interested in topics they should know about despite the existence of hoaxes and fake operations. That’s where this latest news with Donald Trump comes into play, tying in with the ongoing #OpISIS story.
Anonymous has reportedly sent “warning” to Donald Trump and attacked one of his websites, according to Yahoo News; it’s the second attack attributed to Anonymous-related groups since the Republican frontrunner entered the race. The most recent attacks used distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to flood the site for Trump Tower in New York, causing it to crash. The video above also appeared around the same time and seems to tie in with a planned Trolling Day against ISIS for Friday, Dec. 11.
But plenty of things raise alarms at this being a true Anonymous operation, namely the content in the video itself:
“Donald Trump, it has come to our attention that you want to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. This policy is going to have a huge impact. This is what Isis wants. The more Muslims feel sad the more Isis feels they can recruit them. The more the United States appears to be targeting Muslims, not just radical Muslims you can be sure Isis will be putting that on their social media campaign.”
Now while this may be connected to Anonymous, the split on #OpISIS is a real thing, and not everyone connected to the collective feels the same about attacking the terrorist group. That’s not to say they support Daesh, but it does mean it seem to go against what many in the group feel are important. Take this excerpt from a recent piece by jailed Anonymous associated Jeremy Hammond:
As someone who hacked with Anonymous and marched against the war in Iraq, I completely oppose #OpISIS and any attempts to co-opt our movement into supporting the government’s militaristic agenda. Escalated US military involvement is certainly going to result in more civilian deaths, as it already has. All deaths of innocent civilians are a tragedy, and we cannot value one life over another. (And you are still more likely to be shot down by police than in a terrorist attack.)
That’s not even pointing out that the language used in the video doesn’t seem to jive with past statements from the collective, even though the video does share a similar look and feel, and a DDoS attack could be accomplished by almost anybody. Also if you Google #OpTrump or #OpBanTrump, there isn’t the same amount of chatter along the lines of #OpISIS. So skepticism is likely in order, even though it is obvious that someone isn’t happy with Donald Trump or ISIS.
If it turns out Anonymous truly is targeting Donald Trump as part of some effort against ISIS, could that be the moment where the candidate has bitten off more than he can chew. For now, it’s unclear if Trump has brought down the wrath of the internet yet.