The Westboro Baptist Church, widely reviled for its homophobic beliefs and protests of veteran funerals, announced on Saturday that it would picket at Sandy Hook Elementary School following the tragic shooting there Friday that took the lives of 27 people. Members of Anonymous began an operation against the Church to discourage them from protesting at the school and compounding the misery already experienced by Newtown residents.
In a video uploaded by KY Anonymous, the hacker collective states:
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.
Anonymous also published the private information of many Westboro members, including email addresses, phone numbers and home addresses. A tweet sent by Westboro member Margie Phelps indicates that the group believes gay marriage is to blame for the shootings in Connecticut. Update: Famed 15-year-old hacker Cosmo the God appears to have joined the fray, claiming to have hacked the Twitter account of Westboro member Shirley Phelps-Roper.
In addition to the dox, Anonymous is also publicizing a petition on the White House’s official petition portal to have the government “legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group.” The Southern Poverty Law Center already categorizes them as such. The petition has garnered almost 32,800 signatures; any petition over 25,000 signatures is put into a queue to be reviewed by the White House.
The Westboro Baptist Church has released a video called “God Sent the Shooter” that it’s billing as “a message for Connecticut.” Warning: it’s pretty offensive.