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'Anonymous' hackers declare war on Orlando

Image: People wearing masks often used by a group that calls itself "Anonymous"  take part in a rally in Madrid
People wearing masks often used by a group that calls itself "Anonymous" take part in a rally in Madrid, in this May 15, 2011 file photo.Arturo Rodriguez / AP, file
/ Source: msnbc.com

The hacker group Anonymous on Monday declared war against the city of Orlando, Florida, over the arrest of people handing out food to homeless people, according to a report in The Washington Post.

In a press release, the group announced the creation of "Operation Orlando" over the city's treatment of the Food Not Bombs group.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that what started as a spat over distributing food without a permit in a park had escalated, with Mayor Buddy Dyer describing the activists charged with the misdemeanor offense as "food terrorists."

This prompted one member, Ben Markeson, to threaten to file a defamation suit, the Sentinel reported.

The Anonymous press release said the city had "ignored our warnings, and our generous offer of a cease fire."

'Human rights abusers'
"On Wednesday last you not only arrested two more people for feeding but you arrested the worldwide President of Food Not Bombs Keith McHenry. This is a declaration of war," it said.

"Henceforth there will be no more cease fires, no more attempts to get you to resolve this issue with human decency. We will now treat you like the human rights abusers that you are," it added.

Anonymous said it would start "a massive campaign" against Orlando and "city web assets."

It said it would send emails to millions of people in 50 countries asking them to boycott the city.

Anonymous said it would remove www.orlandofloridaguide.com from the internet at 10 a.m. ET Tuesday until 6 p.m. ET.

It also said it would also target the owners of this site, identified as "Utopia, Inc" rather than the city itself.

Anonymous said the owner of the site could have it removed from the "target list" by "releasing a statement to the press in support of Food Not Bombs and calling on the City of Orlando to stop the arrests."