Anonymous Wages War on Westboro Baptist Church

Dennis Faas's picture

'Hacktivist' group Anonymous is apparently waging a cyber war against the Westboro Baptist Church. The stated reason: Church members recently threatened to demonstrate their approval of the Sandy Hook, Connecticut, murders by attending the funerals of the victims.

Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is an independent religious organization based in Topeka, Kansas. Its members have previously been known to picket the funerals of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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The Church's doctrine states that soldiers' deaths overseas and the recent Sandy Hook killings are directly linked to outbursts from God, who they believe is angry over America's growing acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage.

Westboro Baptist Church members have been widely criticized for picketing at soldiers' funerals. But for many people, their threat to picket at the funerals of children killed by a 21-year-old shooter two weeks ago goes too far.

Anonymous Wages War on WBC

Among the critics of the WBC are members of the international hacking group, Anonymous. To discourage the church from sending protestors to Connecticut, Anonymous members recently released some personal details about WBC members. (Source:

That information reportedly included social security numbers and dates of birth. Anonymous used social media sites Twitter and PasteBin to spread the data.

But that's not all. Reports indicate Anonymous members have also filed for a death certificate in the name of WBC spokeswoman Shirley Phelps-Roper. The request has reportedly prevented her from using her social security number.

Anonymous has also started a petition demanding the US government label Westboro Baptist Church a "hate group" and revoke its tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Last week, the petition had been signed by well over 100,000 people. (Source:

Finally, Anonymous is targeting WBC websites. The church owns about 19 sites and reports indicate that at least half of them have been harmed by distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which are designed to overwhelm servers with bogus traffic and thereby prevent legitimate users from accessing the sites.

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