The Anonymous hacking collective has put a Mexican drug cartel squarely in its cross hairs, threatening to expose the identities of the syndicate and its supporters in retaliation for the alleged kidnapping of an Anonymous hacktivist in the Mexican state of Veracruz.
"You made a huge mistake in taking one of us," an Anonymous member says in a YouTube video. "Release him, and if anything happens to him, you will always remember this upcoming Nov. 5."
The drug cartel, known as the Zetas, is one of the most powerful and violent crime organizations in Mexico, responsible for extortion, assassinations and kidnapping along with illegal drug trade. If the Zetas don't release the unnamed Anonymous hacker they allegedly kidnapped, Anonymous says it will expose cartel secrets as well as the identities of the journalists, taxi drivers and police officers it believes are complicit in allowing the Zetas to thrive.
"We demand his release," the Anonymous representative, in a suit, tie and mask, says. "We want the army and the navy to know that we are fed up with the criminal group Zetas, who have concentrated on kidnapping, stealing and blackmailing in different ways."
"For the time being we will not post photos or the names of the taxi drivers, the journalists or the newspapers nor the police officers, but if needed we will publish them including their addresses to see if by doing so the government will arrest them," the Anonymous member says in the Spanish-language video.
The Anonymous representative in the video uses Mexican slang but speaks with the accent of a Spaniard, a nod to the hacking group's international ties, the Houston Chronicle said.
The Nov. 5 reference used in the threat falls in line with the lore and mystery on which the hacktivist group thrives.
That date is Guy Fawkes Day, the anniversary of the discovery of the 1604 plot to blow up the British Parliament, referenced in the movie "V for Vendetta." In public demonstrations, Anonymous members and supporters frequently wear the masks worn by the movie's revolutionary hero. Anonymous often singles out Nov. 5 as a day to launch cyberattacks; this year, along with the Zetas, Anonymous has already promised to take down Fox News and Facebook.