Anonymous has taken control of two Twitter accounts related to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) after the white supremacist group threatened "lethal force" on anyone protesting in Ferguson, Missouri.
Anonymous, the global online hacktivist movement, has taken control of two official Twitter accounts associated with the KKK as well as knocking four of the organisation's websites offline.
IBTimes UK has learned from the Anonymous members involved that several email accounts associated with the KKK have also been compromised in the last 24 hours and it has begun doxxing (publicly revealing a person's identity and personal information) of the KKK group which has been threatening them.
It is also promising to publish "many documents" relating to the KKK in the coming hours.
The takeover of the Twitter accounts comes after several days when insults and threats were traded online between the two groups with the KKK claiming Anonymous would not be able to do anything:
The conflict began when a local KKK group in Missouri distributed leaflets in Ferguson, Missouri threatening to take "lethal force" against any protestors in the aftermath of an expected announcement from the Grand Jury regarding the shooting dead of teenager Mike Brown in the town by police officer Darren Wilson last August.
In the wake of the shooting, thousands of protestors took to the streets of Ferguson to show their anger at the death of Brown and were met with strong resistance by the police and eventually the military.
The leaflets distributed last week in Ferguson by the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan read:
"You have awakened a sleeping giant. The good people of St. Louis County of all races, colors and creeds will not tolerate your threats of violence against our police officers, their families and our communities. You have been warned by the Ku Klux Klan! There will be consequences for your acts violence against the peaceful law abiding citizens of Missouri. We will use lethal force as provided under Missouri Law to defend ourselves."
In response to the distribution of the fliers, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group that has long opposed the KKK and actively monitors hate groups across the county, said:
"It's sickening but not surprising that Klansmen would throw fuel onto an already volatile situation by threatening violence against protesters in Ferguson. After all, the Klan is America's oldest racist hate group and has been responsible for some of the heinous acts of domestic terrorism this country has seen, all in the name of white supremacy."
On Sunday, hackers affiliated with the Anonymous movement under the "Operation KKK" banner (#OpKKK) took control of the @KluKluxKlanUSA and @YourKKKCentral Twitter accounts while taking four websites associated with the group offline, including Storefront, a white nationalist online forum and the website of the Traditional American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
The people behind the attacks speaking to the IBTimes UK were unable to provide specific details about how the accounts or websites were compromised, but said that several email accounts related to the KKK had also been hacked.
They also provided IBTimes UK with screenshots of the doxxing of Frank Ancona, the imperial wizard of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan including his address, phone number, social media accounts and multiple email addresses.
The group said it will make an updated statement about the #OpKKK campaign on Tuesday at 3am GMT using the @KluKluxKlanUSA Twitter account. ahead of that however the group said it was preparing to publish documents relating to the KKK, though they declined to say what type of documents.
In a statement posted on Pastebin on Sunday, one Anonymous member said:
"When society accepts racism, violence against people and their homes, and allows people to be arrested without proof or rights for a defense, the justice shows its ideological and partial side. It's a symptom and ideological. Protest against Ku Klux Klan is, symbolically, stand against the ideology that causes death and suffering."
To date, the KKK has not made any public statement about the Anonymous attacks against them.