Hacker group Anonymous closed down jihadi website; ...launch online war against extremists

Hacking group Anonymous claims to have closed down its first extremist website after launching an online war in retaliation for the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

The campaign group posted a tweet on the account @OpCharlieHebdo boasting it had crippled the French terrorist website ansar-alhaqq.net.

It came with the hashtag #TangoDown and the message: 'Expect us. #JeSuisCharlie' - a reference to the campaign of solidarity launched worldwide in the wake of the atrocity.

The ansar-alhaqq.net page remains down, instead directing to the search engine DuckDuckGo.

It is not clear exactly how the site was brought down, but Anonymous has previously used a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) that overloads the website with vast amounts of data.

The group last week promised a 'war on jihadists' in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, which left 12 people dead when gunmen stormed the offices of the satirical magazine.

In the clip, which was uploaded to the group's Belgian YouTube account, a figure wearing the group's Guy Fawkes mask and a hood says in French in an electronically-distorted voice: 'We are declaring war against you, the terrorists.'

Sitting at a desk and reading from a piece of paper, the figure says the group will track down and close all accounts on social networks related to terrorists to avenge those killed.

The hashtag #OpChalieHebdo - presumably meaning Operation Charlie Hebdo - also appears on screen.

The group also reportedly published a statement on text-sharing website Pastebin, entitled 'Message to the enemies of freedom of expression'.

In it they wrote: 'Freedom of expression has suffered inhuman assault ... It is our duty to react ... We wish to express our condolences to the families of the victims of this cowardly and despicable act.'

They added: 'We will fight always and everywhere the enemies of freedom of expression ... Freedom of expression and opinion is a non-negotiable thing. To tackle it is to attack democracy.

'Expect a massive frontal reaction from us because the struggle for the defense of those freedoms is the foundation of our movement.'
Anonymous has previously carried out cyber attacks on websites belonging to the Government, as well as those of corporate and religious organisations.

In 2012 Anonymous crippled the Home Office's website by flooding it with huge amounts of internet traffic.