Anonymous Plans "Op Trump," An All-Out "Total War" Against Donald Trump
Odds are, you have a firm opinion on Donald Trump ― after all, the man enjoys nearly universal name recognition, blaring coverage both positive and negative, and he's currently seated at the helm of a runaway presidential campaign on the strength of a rampantly authoritarian, often racist and xenophobic style. Which is precisely the kind of behavior that attracts critics, big and small. The modest, on the one hand, and oh-so-powerful on the other. So, here's the question: Is Anonymous planning a large-scale attack on Donald Trump?
Well, if you keep up-to-date with the proclamations of the high-profile hacktivist group, you could certainly draw that conclusion. On Tuesday, March 15 ― the same day, as it happens, that Trump notched some big wins in the Florida, North Carolina, and Illinois primaries (he also appears to have won Missouri by a razor-thin margin) ― a group within Anonymous released a YouTube video declaring "total war" on the Republican front-runner.
In the video, a masked on-camera figure, whose voice is plainly computer-generated, claims that this latest anti-Trump effort comes from the same person who shut down Anonymous Operations, the group that spearheaded a take-down of Turkey's internet late last year, as well as the group that engaged in anti-Trump activities of its own. The December cyber-attacks reportedly knocked more than 400,000 websites offline, as retribution over the group's claim that the Turkish government has provided support to ISIS.
The video, which you can view above, takes great pains to seem intimidating, and that's nothing new. The group's longstanding slogan "we are Anonymous, we are Legion, we do not forgive, we do not forget, expect us" isn't exactly intended to soothe its targets. The hashtag given is #OpTrump, in keeping with the group's long history of "operations."
On the whole, it's more than a little confusing, as it always is when trying to discern what's going on within Anonymous. The group isn't represented by any single worldview, ethos, or identity, and indeed, there are competing and contentious factions within it. Also, it can be downright hard for a novice to follow ― Anonymous tends to be simultaneously dedicated to ripping open closed organizations and individuals for the world to see, while remaining pretty opaque and mysterious to casual, outside observers.
As such, it's hard to know just what to make of this, beyond the fact that somebody under the banner of Anonymous is calling for Trump to be taken down (which, it must be said, will almost certainly involve some illegal activities). The date is rather suggestive, to boot ― April 1, otherwise known as April Fools Day. Ultimately, you'll just have to wait and see what transpires, but needless to say, the Trump campaign and its affiliates have been given a fair amount of advance warning.