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After a week of rumored anticipation that Anonymous might strike against the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), reports have surfaced that Anonymous' nemesis The Jester (th3j35t3r) may be responsible for WBC website downtime.
Last week an open letter was posted on an Anonymous sounding board that warned of potential action by the loose-knit "group" against the controversial Church for "inimitable bigotry and intolerant fanaticism".
The warnings were later dismissed by other Anonymous movement followers as being a "hoax", and some had suggested members of WBC were themselves responsible for the threats.
A Twitter message posted by The Jester on Monday read: "www.godhatesfags.com – TANGO DOWN. Temporarily. For celebrating the death of US troops – honeypot fail btw", and is assumed to be a sign the hacktivist is taking credit for the attacks on the WBC websites.
The Jester is known mostly for his repeated denial of service attacks on militant Jihadi websites (video), as well as his attack on the WikiLeaks website in late November that forced the organization to shuffle Internet hosting providers.
Anonymous is known for having targeted the websites of PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, PostFinance Bank, Amazon, Bank of America and others in December, and continues to use DDoS attacks as a method of furthering political views in various conflicts around the world.
Most recently, the non-group made headlines by breaching the systems of HBGary Federal, a security company who was involved in efforts to reveal the identities of the Anonymous leadership.
Westboro Baptist Church has made a name for itself by staging vocal protests at the funerals of U.S. military members killed in action, though the message delivered at the protests are generally anti-homosexual in nature and have little to do with the conflicts in the Middle East.
Anonymous members and The Jester have publicly traded jabs for several months, each threatening to undermine and expose the other's operations.
Strangely enough, they may have had a meeting of the minds when it comes to their mutual disdain for the Westboro Baptist Church, and it will be interesting to see if there is any subsequent softening of the rhetoric between the two parties.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend? We shall see...