ISIS has a new enemy

Ryan Solano, Feature Reporter

Following the ISIS attack on Paris, a new contender to the war on terror has surfaced. They may not be an organized military, but their weapon of choice may just be what this battle needs.

The group at hand is the elite hacking group called Anonymous. As their name suggests, Anonymous’ real identity is unknown. They cloak their identities with their iconic masks and voice changers. Staying true to their style, Anonymous announced through chilling video that they will now target ISIS for the massacre in Paris.

Anonymous works to destroy the large amount of social unjust that plagues society today. In the past, Anonymous has targeted many groups all over the world that they claimed were disrupting human rights and freedom. Most notoriously, Anonymous has attacked the Westboro Baptist Church.

The church had originally planned to protest at the funeral for the Sandy Hook victims. Anonymous did their best and leaked phone numbers, social security numbers, and even filed a death certificate for Westboro’s spokeswoman, Shirley Phelps-Roper. Anonymous’ efforts showed to be successful. They did much damage to Westboro, not only costing them thousands of dollars but also hindering their influence.

To fight ISIS, Anonymous hopes to cripple their online presence. Already, Anonymous has leaked thousands of Twitter accounts that were affiliates to the ISIS organization. Twitter and other social media has proven to be an important tool in recruiting and organizing terrorist attacks. As of Wednesday, the number of ISIS accounts taken down was claimed to reach about 20,000. Anonymous has also disabled numerous ISIS websites that spread propaganda and allowed for others to donate money to ISIS’s cause.

While it can be assumed that any bit of hostility towards ISIS should be effective, professionals don’t believe Anonymous is truly helping. Deputy director and senior fellow for the Strategic Technologies Program at Center for Strategic and International Studies, Denise Zheng, says “They [Anonymous] are not going to be able to disrupt operations or coordination within the ISIS network. It’s much more of an annoyance, really, I think, to them, than anything else.”

Zheng makes a very valid point but some MCHS students believe in Anonymous’ efforts. James Schooley says, “Diminishing the online presence just a small amount would greatly decrease the recruiting and capacity for ISIS to spread their propaganda and ideals.”

On the other hand, MCHS student, Guendolen Mark, was still unclear on just how Anonymous planned to attack ISIS. Guendolen said, “I don’t really know. Their Anonymous, I don’t know what resources they have or anything.” It is this way of thinking that Anonymous uses to their advantage. Since they don’t publicly announce what tools they have, each of their attacks are mysterious and unexpected. It will be interesting to see what Anonymous brings to the table.

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