ISIS posted a video two weeks ago of a suicide bomber preparing an explosive vest followed by clips of Times Square making a statement that New York will be a target. At the same time, in Molenbeek, Brussels, an arrest was made, along with three others in Turkey, all with connections to ISIS. Later on 16 other people were arrested with links to the group.
While police raid hideouts and try to track down terrorists in the streets, the viral world is doing their own hunt, making this a different kind of war.
Saddleback College student Rachel Crandall, 20, says thanks to these attacks it has made her more afraid of signing up for study abroad programs.
“The Internet has changed so much; it should be taken away from us,” Crandall said. “It has made people more scared, and the things that are out there now are more creepy and it makes it worse than it really is and has made people live in fear.”
While governments continue to counter ISIS, another group is taking charge. Anonymous, an Internet collective who’ve been able to hack many U.S. government systems and others around the world.
Donning Guy Fawkes’ masks, Anonymous believes in the people, their rights and their beliefs. They fight against government overreach and hold to high values for the common. No one knows who they are, where they come from or how they find each other. They can be a friend, neighbor, coworker or even your partner. What is known, they fight for the common people. And they have already started the fight in this hacking world.
“These attacks cannot remain unpunished,” said an unknown Anonymous hacker speaking in French in a video after the Paris attacks. “We are going to launch the biggest operation ever against you. Expect many cyber-attacks. War has been declared. Get ready.”
The spokesperson said, without revealing details of what the attacks would involve.
“We don’t forgive and we don’t forget,” he said, reiterating Anonymous’ motto at the end of every post.
By the time the video posted, Anonymous had already hacked into the ISIS system that allows them to communicate with each other. Anonymous found information of the next five cities to be attacked. In another video this weekend, they warned people in Europe and the United States to stay away from events held, particularly at churches, since places like the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik in Lebanon were targeted.
In the mean time the government has told the people in Brussels and other countries to prepare by not staying out late at night, stay clear from large groups and especially stay off subway lines.
For Saddleback College campus police officer Kyle Fraser, he chooses to stay on top of safety information by watching news channels and getting constant updates on how to be prepared in case of active attacks.
“The best way to find information about safety is on our campus website, there is a lot of information out there, although the chances of something happening is about the same as getting struck by lightening, Fraser said. “But it is best to always be prepared.”
Fraser was also able to get his information by watching an interview on “60 minutes” of Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier who gave advice about what to do if there is an active shooter in your area.
“Your options are run, hide, or fight,” Lanier said. “If you’re in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it’s the best option for saving lives before police can get there.”
As for the people doing what they can to help prevent terrorist attacks the FBI has setup a page on their website that gives information on what to expect. They tell everyone to learn these few steps and together terrorism can be put to an end.