Fresh off confrontations with Mexican drug gangs and Israeli security forces, the Anonymous hacktivist collective seems to have found a new target: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
"The Muslim Brotherhood has become a threat to the revolution Egyptians had fought for, some with their lives," the usual Anonymous mechanized voice states in a YouTube video posted Monday (Nov. 7). "They seek to destroy the sovereignty of the people of Egypt as well as other nations including the United States."
The video dubs the operation "OpBrotherhood" and promises a takedown of the Muslim Brotherhood's main website, Ikhwan Online, Friday at 6 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time (1 p.m. ET). Presumably, the site would be the target of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
The video posting was first reported by Michael Stone on Examiner.com.
Attacking Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood would be an interesting turn of events for Anonymous. The hacktivist hive-mind has been firm in its support of Palestinian nationalism, and may have attacked Israeli government servers over the weekend. (Israel denies that its server outages were due to attacks.)
One prominent Anonymous member, "Sabu," even has the flag of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas as his Twitter icon. (Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.)
But Anonymous has been even more unflinching in its support of the Arab Spring uprisings that toppled the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya this year. Anonymous has attacked the websites of repressive Arab governments and provided information to protesters and dissidents.
The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's longest-running dissident political organization, initially sat out the mass demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak, which began in late January. Its later support was crucial to the success of the movement Feb. 11, however.
The Brotherhood's party structure puts it in a good position for the next round of Egyptian elections, which worries many secular-minded Egyptians. Elections were initially promised for September but have been indefinitely delayed.
"The Muslim Brotherhood started as a benevolent group of people with fair and just intentions. However, as decades went by, corruption seized its mission of good and turned it into a power-hungry organization bent on taking over sovereign Arab states in its quest to seize power from them," the Anonymous video states. "They say this is necessary in order to unify the Muslim nations into one Islamic state, which is a lie. We will not allow this to happen."
It's not clear how much support OpBrotherhood will garner among the Anonymous faithful. Anyone can put up a video to rally the troops, and recent efforts to lead Anonymous followers against Fox News and Facebook fizzled out.
Then again, just two months Anonymous was key in building support for the then-tiny Occupy Wall Street movement.
The Muslim Brotherhood's website does not mention the Anonymous threat against it, but does feature several stories supporting Syrian rebels in their current struggle against that country's dictatorship.