Westboro Baptist Church, the controversial church of God Hates Fags infamy, claims that the legions of Anonymous are planning to attack its website.
However, according to at least one faction of Anonymous, the supposedly threatening open letter is the work of WBC itself, which is inviting an attack in order to garner sympathy for itself as well as running a honeypot designed to capture the IP addresses of attackers for subsequent lawsuits.
The supposed open letter from Anonymous that kicked off the row warned the fundamentalist church to mend its ways or else feel its wrath. In response, WBC posted a defiant message urging Anonymous to "bring it on!" and that God hates "coward crybaby" hackers.
Further complicating the situation, both the original threat against WBC and subsequent denials were posted on anonnews.org, the semi-official news outlet used by Anonymous. Three possibilities therefore seem to exist: either the infamous group of internet hackers are split on the issue, WBC is behind the supposed threat or elements of Anonymous are messing with everyone for the sheer mischief of the whole exercise.
WBC, which is reviled by mainstream Christians and atheists alike, pickets soldiers' funeral with signs such as "Thank God For Dead Soldiers" as well as running a long-running anti-homosexual campaign.
In an emergency press release, Anonymous warned that the supposed call to arms was a trap set up by "attention-whoring idiots". It said that as much as some members loathe WBC, Anonymous remains committed to freedom of speech. Rather than launching a denial of service attacks, Anons might want to send WBC a few male prostitutes or pictures of Goatse, the release (written by 20 members of Anonymous) concludes.
Meanwhile IRC discussions by members of Anonymous debated whether to either ignore the trolls or mount an especially fierce cyber-assault against the church. Some, at least, may have started an attack against the church's website, which remains unavailable at the time of writing on Monday morning. ®