A terror plot mapped out by the Islamic State group was thwarted by Anonymous, the collective of online hackers claimed on Monday. ISIS planned to execute the assault in Italy, the hackers said. “We have already foiled one attack, ISIS against Italy, we hope to block others,” Anonymous told the newspaper The Independent.
Anonymous declared a war on ISIS after attacks in Paris killed at least 130 people in November. The activists released a video to announce that it would “hunt down” members of ISIS and that it plans to “launch the biggest operation ever against” the group. As part of its mission, Anonymous has focused on disabling social media accounts and websites linked to ISIS to stave off propaganda.
The group claimed to have collected intelligence about planned attacks by ISIS in the U.S., Indonesia, Italy and Lebanon, publishing a full list of potential targets last month. “The goal is to make sure the whole world, or at least the people going to these events, know that there have been threats and that there is possibility of an attack to happen,” Anonymous said in a statement. “Another goal is to make sure [ISIS] knows that the world knows and cancels the attacks, which will disorientate them for a while.”
Anonymous would not provide evidence of these plans and attacks but said that it had shared the evidence with international government intelligence agencies. “If we share the proof [publicly], everyone will start calling it fake because screenshots can be edited and accounts can be deleted,” the group told International Business Times. “We have purposely not shared account links publicly because they would be shut down immediately and then no one would believe the proof.”
Anonymous published a series of tweets Monday from its Twitter account OpParisOfficial, confirming its involvement in the alleged foiled attack planned for Italy. Some of the posts were written in Italian — the main person behind the group is believed to be based in Italy, the Times of India reported. “We don’t need to be believed, the important thing is that no one dies,” Anonymous posted Monday to Twitter.