The stand-off between web vigilante group Anonymous and extremist Christians the Westboro Baptist Church has taken yet another twist after it was revealed that the Anonymous open letter which started the row may have actually been published by Westboro in an attempt to entrap the web group.
The open letter which was widely reported in the press, was posted late last week on the anonnews.org site used by Anonymous. It attacked the church for its anti-gay, anti-semitic and anti-servicemen views and warned that DDoS attacks would be meted out unless the church ceased all actions.
"Should you ignore this warning, you will meet with the vicious retaliatory arm of ANONYMOUS," it warned.
"We will target your public web sites, and the propaganda and detestable doctrine that you promote will be eradicated; the damage incurred will be irreversible, and neither your institution nor your congregation will ever be able to fully recover."
However, in a new release on the site, Anonymous denied posting the open letter, explaining that "just because it was posted on AnonNews doesn't mean every single Anon is in agreement, in fact in this case it doesn't even mean a single Anon is in agreement".
"To Anonymous: It's a trap. They've got their ports wide open to harvest IPs to sue. Don't DDoS and boycott Operation Westboro," the release warned. "If you really want to continue messing with them, just send them a few male prostitutes and faxes of goatse. Nothing more."
The confusion echoes that seen during the height of the Anonymous Operation Payback assault on those companies deemed to have obstructed WikiLeaks.
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