Hacktivist collective Anonymous has dealt a blow to the recruiting efforts of ISIS by launching cyber attacks on Twitter accounts used by the terror group to mobilize fighters. In a comprehensive strike called #OpISIS, the hackers have managed to breach hundreds of ISIS Twitter accounts and email addresses.
In a statement released by Anonymous, the vigilante cyber cabal said: "ISIS, we will hunt you, take down your sites, accounts, emails and expose you... You will be treated like a virus, and we are the cure. We own the internet."
"Remember – the terrorists that are calling themselves Islamic State (ISIS) are not Muslims."
It also added that its members comprised of people from all over the world: "We are Muslims, we are Christians, we are Jews, we are hackers... We come from all races, countries, religions, and ethnicity."
"We are hackers, crackers, hacktivists, phishers, agents, spies, or just the guy from next door. We are students, administrators, workers, clerks, unemployed, rich, poor. We are young, or old, gay or straight. We wear smart clothes or Uggs. We come from all races, countries, religions, and ethnicity. United as one, divided by zero. We are Anonymous".
Anonymous uploaded a Pastebin link containing all the ISIS-affiliated Twitter accounts that it has taken down along with a list of suspected ISIS-linked Facebook profiles. Given that ISIS' relentless recruitment and propaganda machine has relied so heavily on the use of Twitter as a medium, it'll be interesting to see how far this attack sets back the caliphate.
The hacktivist collective has form for affecting the operations of terrorist organisations. In November last year, Anonymous hijacked the Ku Klux Klan's Twitter account in the wake of threats made by the racist white supermacy group against Ferguson protesters.