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Anonymous Pledges Revenge Attacks on Terrorists After 'Charlie Hebdo' Massacre

The hacktivist collective has targeted an extremist-linked website and Twitter accounts following the deadly attacks in Paris last week.

by Liz Fields
Jan 12 2015, 4:30pm

Photo via Anonymous/YouTube

The international hacker collective Anonymous has staged its first cyber attack on a extremist-related website after promising to "track down" any terrorists linked to last week's massacre at the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Anonymous began its campaign last week in the wake of the shooting at the magazine headquarters, which left 12 dead. Five more people were later killed in separate attacks on a police officer and a kosher supermarket in Paris in the subsequent days.

On Saturday, an Anonymous-linked Twitter account took credit for a French extremist-linked website being taken offline. The same day, Anonymous released a YouTube video claiming it is the group's responsibility to react.

"Anonymous has always fought for the freedom of speech and freedom of the press. We will never stop," a masked figure with a distorted voice says in the video. "Any organizations or enterprises linked to those terrorist attacks should expect a massive reaction from Anonymous. We are tracking you down. We will find you and not leave you any rest."

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The "operation" now has its own Twitter account and hashtag #OpCharlieHebdo, which has already been attached to a tweet detailing the group's alleged first revenge attack, involving the take down of the website ansar-alhaqq.net.

As of Monday morning the website was still down, rerouting users to the search engine Duck Duck Go.

A second video purported to have been released by the group's Belgian arm was later denounced as phony.

Anonymous has also called on web users to aid its efforts against extremists.

In a separate message on Pastebin, Anonymous warned "terrorists" to brace for more attacks. "Expect a massive frontal reaction from us because the struggle for the defense of those freedoms is the foundation of our movement," the statement read. "We will not forget. We do not forgive. Dread us!"

Massive crowds gather at Paris unity rally to honor 'Charlie Hebdo' victims. Read more here.