Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
ISIS Twitter Terrorists Get Beat Down By Anonymous Keyboard Warriors
On Wednesday, Anonymous took responsibility for shutting down roughly 800 Twitter accounts, a dozen Facebook pages, and a host of email addresses, all of which were linked to ISIS supporters. The Internet-based hacker group has issued a straight up and down challenge to ISIS. And, the crazy part? They’re backing it up.
Last month, Anonymous declared war on ISIS in an animated video in the wake of the Jan. 7 Charlie Hebdo attacks when gunmen affiliated with Islamic extremists attacked the French satirical publication, killing 12. Speaking directly at ISIS militants, the animated video warned: "You will be treated like a virus, and we are the cure. We own the Internet now."
The warning was referring to ISIS’ digital fear campaign, in which individuals claiming to be affiliated with the group have taken to hacking high-profile, social media accounts --- most recently, the group hacked the Military Spouses of Strength Twitter account Tuesday morning --- and posting vague and foreboding messages on Twitter feeds and Facebook walls, often ending with something particularly creepy like “You think you're safe but the [Islamic State] is already here!”
Personally, I imagine this battle being narrated by Christian Bale from “The Dark Knight,” but with less throat-talking. And like Batman, Anonymous hasn’t always had the best reputation, but that’s where the similarity stops. To be clear, they’re not good guys --- just days before the news broke that Anonymous hacked the social media feeds of ISIS supporters, the group also claimed responsibility for hacking the web page of the European Parliament President Martin Schulz. They are computer hackers after all. They do break the law, and it’s not always to fight evil-doers.
What makes this Anonymous-ISIS war remarkable as well as highly entertaining is that on one side of the fence you have a group of quasi-Internet anti-heroes, with no discernible structure or hierarchy, waging a digital crusade against members of an equally fractured Islamic cyber caliphate that may only be associated with the Islamic State in the sense that it ends its posts with #ISIS.
This is a legitimate flame war. An epic battle of two titanic Internet trolls. I have no idea if anything good will come of it; maybe ISIS will get some more bad press, or see a loss of stature among its recruitment base, but it’s unlikely the online spat will have lasting effects. Anonymous can declare war all it wants, but until it starts sending in strike bombers, special operations forces, and taking key terrain, they remain all tweet and no talon.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that no U.S. troops will take part in enforcing the so-called safe zone in northern Syria and the United States "is continuing our deliberate withdrawal from northeastern Syria."
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan earlier on Friday said Turkey will set up a dozen observation posts across northeast Syria, insisting that a planned "safe zone" will extend much further than U.S. officials said was covered under a fragile ceasefire deal.
On Tuesday at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual conference, Army families had the opportunity to tell senior leaders exactly what was going on in their worlds — an opportunity that is, unfortunately, all too rare.
A new documentary series about Clint Lorance pits the infantry officer convicted of murder against his former soldiers
The fog of war, just kills, and war crimes are the focus of a new documentary series coming to STARZ. Titled Leavenworth, the five-part series profiles 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, the Army infantry officer who was convicted on murder charges for ordering his soldiers to fire on three unarmed Afghan men on a motorcycle, killing two and wounding the third, while deployed to the Zhari district in Kandahar province, on July 2, 2012.
A big stereotype surrounding U.S. service members and veterans is that they are defined only by their military service, from buying "Dysfunctional Veteran" t-shirts to playing hard-boiled, high-octane first-person shooters like Battlefield and Call of Duty (we honestly have no idea where anyone could get that impression).
But the folks at OSD (formerly called Operation Supply Drop), a non-profit veteran service organization that aims to help troops and vets connect with each other through free video games, service programs and other activities, recently found that most of the gamers they've served actually prefer less military-centric fare like sports games and fantasy RPGs.
CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) - Shelling could be heard at the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday morning despite a five-day ceasefire agreed between Turkey and the United States, and Washington said the deal covered only a small part of the territory Ankara aims to seize.
Reuters journalists at the border heard machine-gun fire and shelling and saw smoke rising from the Syrian border battlefield city of Ras al Ain, although the sounds of fighting had subsided by mid-morning.
The truce, announced on Thursday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after talks in Ankara with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, sets out a five-day pause to let the Kurdish-led SDF militia withdraw from an area controlled by Turkish forces.
The SDF said air and artillery attacks continued to target its positions and civilian targets in Ral al Ain.
"Turkey is violating the ceasefire agreement by continuing to attack the town since last night," SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted.
The Kurdish-led administration in the area said Turkish truce violations in Ras al Ain had caused casualties, without giving details.