Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Anonymous warns Westboro Baptist Church against Boston Marathon funeral picketing

Any time there is a high profile death or groups of deaths, one can expect the Westboro Baptist Church to take an interest, and perhaps announce that they will picket the funerals. This doesn't mean they will, though. That being said, on Tuesday, WBC announced they would picket the funerals of the Boston Marathon victims, with hacktivist group Anonymous, which has sparred with the church before, saying the church should do so at its own risk.

WBC's tweet about its planned pickets said:
Westboro Baptist Church to picket funerals of those killed. #PraiseGod pic.twitter.com/VrsxHlNjXe
In the message embedded in the attached image, the group -- which some want to have labeled a hate group -- states that:
Massachusetts invited this special wrath from God Almighty when it was the first state to pass same-sex marriage on May 17, 2004.
Anonymous, however, tweeted its a warning to Westboro. What's interesting is that Anonymous tweeted its warning before Westboro issued its threat. WBC's threat came on Tuesday. Anonymous issued its tweet on Monday, the day of the Boston Marathon blasts.

Recent examples of Anonymous activity against WBC include its response to WBC's announcement that it would picket in Newtown, Conn., site of the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings on Dec. 14. After WBC's threat, Anonymous doxxed group members, publishing their personal information online, took down the group's main website, and hacked the Twitter account of one if its best-known -- and infamous -- reps, Shirley Phelps-Roper.

Similarly, Anonymous announced plans to block the WBC from picketing Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz's funeral, after which WBC relented at the last minute.

Most of the members of Westboro Baptist Church are members of the large family of Fred Phelps, the head pastor and founder of the church. As of 2011, the church stated that it had about 40 members. It is headquartered in a residential neighborhood on the west side of Topeka, Kan., about three miles west of the Kansas State Capitol.

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