#OpParis: Anonymous takes down 5,500 ISIS Twitter accounts

© Peter Nicholls
Hacktivist group Anonymous has reported that more than 5,500 Twitter accounts belonging to Islamic State have been taken down. It comes after the collective declared a “total war” on the militant group following the Paris attacks.

Tweeting from its #OpParis account, Anonymous stated: “We report that more than 5500 Twitter account (sic) of #ISIS are now #down! #OpParis #Anonymous #ExpectUS.”

“Our capability to take down ISIS is a direct result of our collective's sophisticated hackers, data miners, and spies that we have all around the world. We have people very, very close to ISIS on the ground, which makes gathering intel about ISIS and related activities very easy for us,” Alex Poucher, a spokesman for Anonymous, told RT.

He added that the collective has built tools that “might be better than any world government's tools to combat ISIS online.”

Aware that ISIS has its own hackers, Poucher expressed confidence that the militant group “does not have hackers like we have hackers.”

“They picked a fight with Anonymous when they attacked Paris, and now they should expect us,” he said, adding that the collective “will not sit by and watch these terror attacks unfold around the world.”

Anonymous released a video on Monday stating that the collective would “launch the biggest operation ever” against Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL), following the Friday attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead and 352 injured.

The group vowed to use their skills to “unite humanity,” and warned terrorists to “expect massive cyber-attacks.”

“Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down,” the spokesman in the video said. “You should know that we will find you and we will not let you go.”

ISIS responded to Anonymous' video on Monday, calling the hacktivist group “idiots” and offering guidance of ISIS supporters to protect against cyber-attacks.

However, as of Monday, 900 ISIS-related Twitter accounts had already been suspended after Anonymous posted a list of them online.

On Monday, Anonymous said in its video that “the French people are strong than you and will come out of this atrocity even stronger.”

This is not the first time Anonymous has used its skills against ISIS. This year, the group has dismantled some 149 ISIS-linked websites, according to a recent report in Foreign Policy.