Activists calling themselves Anonymous UK have posted what they say are personal details, on the Internet, of members of the English Defence League (EDL), a far-right group that has led an anti-Muslim backlash after a killing in London last week.
The EDL has staged protests and skirmished with police since soldier Lee Rigby was hacked to death in a London street last Wednesday by two men who said the killing was in retaliation for the deaths of Muslims at the hands of British forces abroad.
Police shot and wounded the attackers, both Britons of Nigerian descent, at the scene of the crime. One, Michael Adebolajo, is still in hospital under armed guard while the other, Michael Adebowale, was discharged from hospital on Tuesday and will be questioned by police on Wednesday.
Hackers target UK far-right group over response to London murder (image credit:turner)
Rigby's killing galvanised the small but vocal EDL, which organised a march through central London on Monday during which about 1,000 people chanted slogans such as “Muslim killers off our streets”.
Four EDL supporters who were arrested during that march have been charged with various offences. In response to these events, Anonymous UK posted late on Tuesday what it described as a “mass data leak” including names, mobile telephone numbers and addresses of EDL members and donors, as well as what purported to be details about past convictions of some of the people listed.
The name Anonymous UK suggested that the person or people behind the post were part of the loosely organised international “hacktivist” collective Anonymous, which has taken credit for attacks on a variety of targets including the CIA.
Anonymous UK had earlier on Tuesday posted a video message on YouTube threatening the EDL with the “systematic and comprehensive dessication of your cult“. The message, posted under the user name “IWill Object”, condemned Rigby's killing and accused the EDL of exploiting the murder to spread hatred.
“You … have used this as another excuse to further spread your campaign of hate, bigotry and misinformation,” it said. “Under the guise of national pride you have instigated crimes against the innocent and incited the subjugation of Muslims”. The EDL could not immediately be reached for comment.
Rigby's killing, as well as the EDL's response to it, have been widely condemned across the political and religious spectrum in Britain and there have been countless calls for unity and solidarity among all Britons.
Adebolajo's family condemned the attack as senseless on Tuesday and said they felt ashamed and horrified.
Publish date: May 29, 2013 7:16 pm| Modified date: December 19, 2013 11:46 am