Anonymous has announced their plans to release the identities of 1,000 Ku Klux Klan members and launch a cyber attack on any websites and social media accounts associated with the white supremacy group.
In November 2014, a chapter of the KKK reportedly threatened to use “lethal force” against protestors against the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by law enforcement in Ferguson, Missouri.
The hactivist collective then launched the #OpKKK campaign, in which they vowed to wage a cyber war against the Ku Klux Klan, claiming their aim was “nothing more than Cyber Warfare.” According to a person going by the username “SiX,” who spoke to The Huffington Post about the operation, the group had officially dedicated itself to getting rid of the KKK forever.
“It has come to our unfortunate attention that you have been interfering with Anonymous,” the hactivist collective announced on their YouTube channel. “We are not attacking you because of what you believe in as we fight for the freedom of speech…We are attacking you because of what you did to our brothers and sisters at the Ferguson protest on the 12th of November. Due to your actions we have started Operation KKK.”
Within a couple of days of launching Operation KKK last year, Anonymous members took over several websites and social media accounts associated with the group and released a few identities. Now, almost a year later, Operation KKK has been revived; they’ve released a press release on the Operation’s twitter (@Operation_KKK) with promises to eradicate the existence of the Ku Klux Klan once and for all:
“Ku Klux Klan, we never stopped watching you. We know who you are…We never said we would only strike once…After closely observing so many of you for so very long, we feel confident that applying transparency to your organizational cells is the right, just, appropriate and only course of action…You are more than extremists. You are more than a hate group. You operate much more like terrorists that hide beneath sheets and infiltrate society on ever level.”
According to Anonymous, they were reminded of the white supremacy group after one of their members began to harass a friend of an Anonymous member on Twitter. The member tried to retaliate by taking down KKK websites, but that failed to deter the harassment.
“When people are faced with grave injustices, those cries do not go unheard,” the press release continued. “Originally, we did not attack you for your beliefs as we fight for freedom of speech. We attacked you due to your threats to use lethal force in the Ferguson protests. We took this grudge between us rather seriously. You continue to threaten anons and others…Ku Klux Klan – why did you stop expecting us?”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, they estimate that there are about 5,000 to 8,000 members still active today. Hopefully, the fear of becoming the targets of Anonymous will dissuade those numbers from increasing.