In the wake of the Orlando shooting that left 49 victims dead and 53 more injured, the assailant Omar Mateen was acknowledged by the terror group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as one of their own. In defiance to the terror attack, hacktivist group Anonymous took control of over 250 Twitter accounts that it found to be pro-ISIS and used it to support gay pride.
Omar Mateen called up 911 during the attack at a gay club to pledge allegiance to the unrecognized state and terror group ISIS. However, there is no evidence to show that ISIS had a direct control over the operation. Although Mateen appeared organized and well prepared in carrying the attacks, it seems that the acknowledgement had only been made as a form of propaganda to further promote their cause. Speaking from the White House, Pres. Obama referred to the killings as an “act of hate.”
Following the homophobic attack at Pulse, a member of Anonymous under the username WauchulaGhost used a number of Twitter accounts to overcome the spread of hatred against gays. The hacker tweeted photos of the Gay Pride flag and messages that promote peace and love. Messages like “I’m gay and I’m proud” and “make love, not war” were sent out using the hacked accounts that previously spewed hatred and supported terrorist killings. In an interview with CNN, the hacker said, “Every innocent life that the Islamic State takes only serves to strengthen our power and determination.”
The hacker group Anonymous was reported by the NBC News to have declared war against ISIS following the Paris attacks. WauchulaGhost further said that a good number of hacktivists are continuously on the lookout to counter ISIS messages from spreading in social media, which is also becoming a powerful recruiting ground.
“If you want change, you have to make that change,” he said.
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