In the wake of the San Bernardino shooting, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US, "until we can figure out what’s going on."
Critics argued that the billionaire’s inflammatory rhetoric would be used by terrorist groups like Daesh, also known as IS/the Islamic State, for recruiting purposes. Over the weekend, al-Qaeda’s Somalia-based affiliate, al-Shabab, did just that, releasing a purported Islamist propaganda video using clips from Trump’s speeches.
"What am I going to do?" Trump said on Sunday’s Face the Nation, when asked if he was concerned by his inclusion in a terrorist recruitment video. "I have to say what I have to say."
While the presidential hopeful appears unwilling to take accountability for his rhetoric, a group calling themselves New World Hacking has taken matters into their own hands.
On Thursday, the hackers implemented their plan. But before going after Trump directly, New World Hacking, composed of eight men and four women, had to test their capabilities, launching a denial-of-service attack against the BBC.
"We realize sometimes what we do is not always the right choice, but without cyber hackers…who is there to fight off online terrorists?" the group told a BBC reporter, via Twitter. "The reason we really targeted the BBC is because we wanted to see our actual server power."
The cyberattack proved successful, knocking out the news outlet’s online services for hours.
"It was only a test, we didn’t exactly plan to take it down for multiple hours," a member of the group told the BBC. "Our servers are quite strong."
On Saturday, New World Hacking took aim at Trump’s official campaign website, donaldjtrump.com.
"We targeted the Trump site because this guy can get quite racist,” the group told Hackread. "It doesn’t matter to us how crazy he gets."
Evidently equipped with a better IT team than the United Kingdom’s primary media outlet, the group brought Trump’s website down for only 30 minutes.
While Trump is the most recent target of the group’s online activities, their real focus is Daesh.
"We are based in the US, but we strive to take down ISIS-affiliated websites, also ISIS members," one member told a BBC reporter, via Twitter.
New World Hacking does not yet have the same notoriety that groups like Anonymous have achieved, but this isn’t their first cyberattack. Members previously worked on #OpParis, a campaign that targeted Daesh websites following the terror attacks in Paris last November. The group also claims to have taken part in a campaign to out members of the Ku Klux Klan last year.