RCMP national website goes offline, Anonymous claims responsibility
WATCH: A group claiming to be Anonymous says it’s striking back after the deadly police-involved shooting in Dawson Creek. Jeremy Hunka reports.
The RCMP’s website was down for much of the day, but the cause is not clear.
However, it came a day after the cyber group Anonymous vowed to target the force to raise awareness about an RCMP officer involved in a shooting incident in the small B.C. city of Dawson Creek.
Anonymous has no identifiable leadership and its members are known for wearing Guy Fawkes masks. Its members have claimed responsibility in the past for hacking incidents including the shutdown of the Cleveland city website last fall after the police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
Public Safety Minister Stephen Blaney’s office and the Mounties did not immediately respond to questions about the RCMP website.
But an alleged spokesperson with Anonymous told Global News they are planning to identify the RCMP officer who fatally shot a man on July 17. Social media posts claim the victim was affiliated with Anonymous, and witnesses on site say he was wearing a mask when he was shot.
“He was an Anon. Specifically, he was a part of the idea known as Anonymous. We do not have “members” per-say,” they wrote.
When asked if that would put an innocent man at risk, they wrote “there are no innocent police officers.”
“However we will make every effort and expend considerable resources to try and be accurate with what we release,” they added.
The website of Canada’s spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, was recently taken down by a cyberattack.
Dawson Creek RCMP shot and killed the man because they say refused to comply with directions, according to the Independent Investigations Office, which investigates all police-involved shootings in B.C.
The shooting happened outside the Fixx Urban Grill at the Stonebridge Hotel, while a public information session on the soon-to-be constructed Site C dam was being held by BC Hydro.
User jaymack9 tweeted on Thursday afternoon that an Anonymous “splinter group” was to attend the Site C meeting in Dawson Creek that night.
YourAnonNews tweeted to its 1.46 million followers Friday: “Ohai rcmpgrcpolice we would like to report a murder of one of our comrades by some of your officers. Shall we expect justice or cover up?”
The account retweeted a post by another user OpAnonDown on Saturday that vowed to identify the officer and to post his personal information online. It called for protests outside RCMP stations across Canada and said it would raise funds for the man’s burial.
A ‘press release’ posted online yesterday said they will “most certainly avenge one of our own when they are cut down in the streets.”
Late Sunday, the Chief Councillor of the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation said a planned protest of the Site C dam would not go forward due to concerns of violence planned by “others”.
– With files from Jon Azpiri and The Canadian Press