A group attached to the online hacktivist group Anonymous claims to have hacked the Web site of the Westboro Baptist Church in response to plans by the controversial church to picket the funerals of those massacred Friday at a school in Newtown, Conn.
As part of a campaign dubbed #OpWestBoro, KY Anonymous said yesterday it posted the personal information belonging to members of the extremist organization, which is best known for conducting protests designed to disrupt the funerals of members of the military killed in action. The data dump included the names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and physical addresses of dozens of alleged members of the religious organization. The group did not indicate where or how it acquired the data.
The hackvitist group announced the move after several Westboro Baptist Church members announced the group's intention to target Newtown, which was the site of a school shooting Friday that claimed the lives of 26 people, 20 of whom were children ages 6 to 7.
Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment.— Shirley Phelps-Roper (@DearShirley) December 15, 2012
Along with the data, KY Anonymous posted a video (see below) in which it pledged to derail the church's efforts.
We will not allow you to corrupt the minds of America with your seeds of hatred. We will not allow you to inspire aggression to the social factions which you deem inferior. We will render you obsolete. We will destroy you. We are coming.
In addition to military funerals, the church group has also targeted the funerals of prominent civilians, including that of Steve Jobs.
In a related action, a petition has been posted to WhiteHouse.gov asking President Obama to have Westboro Baptist Church legally recognized as a hate group. Posted Friday, the petition already has more than 46,000 signatures, nearly twice the number needed for it to attract the president's attention. The petition states:
Their actions have been directed at many groups, including homosexuals, military, Jewish people and even other Christians. They pose a threat to the welfare and treatment of others and will not improve without some form of imposed regulation.