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Anonymous targets jihadist sites after Charlie Hebdo attack

Representatives of the hacktivist group react to the Paris shootings by taking down an extremist website

The debate about the limits of free speech has raged on since the tragic shootings at the offices of Charlie Hebdo. Now a group of hackers claiming affiliation with Anonymous has stepped into the fray: they've taken down Ansar-Alhaqq, a French jihadist media website.

The hackers behind @OpCharlieHebdo, who claim to be a Belgian arm of Anonymous, say that they have a responsibility to defend free speech. In a video posted online, they say that they are defending the "freedom of the press, which is fundamental to all democracy".

Ansar-Alhaqq translates as "defenders of the truth". Le Figaro reports that alongside innocuous tips on how to be a good Muslim, the website also features articles such as "44 Ways To Support Jihad".

Now anybody trying to access Ansar-Alhaqq is redirected to DuckDuckGo, "the search engine that doesn't track you". 

In the past, the loose collective which makes up Anonymous' ranks have successfully ridiculed a US branch of the KKK, drawn attention to police brutality in Albuquerque and pursued the truth in a teen rape case.

But in this case, launching a campaign to protect freedom of speech by shutting down another media website – even a jihadist one – seems like a fairly alarming paradox. Is this just a direct contradiction in @OpCharlieHebdo's battle for free speech?

Watch #OpCharlieHebdo's video below: