Members of the hacktivist group Anonymous have begun a campaign to target presidential candidate Donald Trump after he called for all Muslims to be banned from entering the U.S. claiming the move would foment support for the Islamic State group rather than help defeat it.
Operation Trump or #OpTrump was launched earlier this week but has yet to gain widespread support within the Anonymous community. The most notable action carried out as part of the campaign to date was an attack on one of Trump’s websites. According to a tweet from a member of the group called @FibsFreitag, the website of Trump Tower was hit with a distributed denial of service attack on Wednesday and while it failed to completely take it offline, it did limit access to it for a period of time.
— #TrollingDay Dec11 (@FibsFreitag) December 9, 2015
International Business Times has contacted Trump to get a response to the campaign, but there was no response at the time of publication.
Like most Anonymous campaigns, the members behind Operation Trump have published a video explaining the reason why they are targeting Trump. “It has come to our attention that you want to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. This policy is going to have a huge impact. This is what ISIS wants. The more Muslims feel sad the more ISIS feel that they can recruit them. The more United States appears to be targeting Muslims not just radical muslims,” it said.
Earlier this week, the leading Republican presidential candidate issued a statement calling for the U.S. to implement a “total and complete” travel ban on Muslims trying to enter the country, referencing the “great hatred” that “large” segments of the Muslim population hold against Americans.
The unwieldy and anarchic group of online activists, which identifies itself as Anonymous, has been gaining a lot of attention recently for its campaign to “hunt down” ISIS in the wake of Paris terror attacks, with some alleging that their actions have been harmful to counterterrorism efforts. The group’s latest attempt to disrupt the online activities of the extremist group — also known as ISIS, ISIL, IS or Daesh — takes place Friday, and is known as ISIS Trolling Day, where the group asks members (and indeed non-members) to post mocking images and videos to social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.