Imran Khan sends Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MPs back to parliament Number of PTI supporters outside parliament dwindles in further sign that campaign to force Nawaz Sharif to resign is near end

Supporter of Imran Khan

A supporter of Imran Khan dances near the parliament building in Islamabad on Wednesday. Photograph: B.K. Bangash/AP

After leading almost three weeks of street protests demanding fresh elections in Pakistan, the former cricketer Imran Khan sent his elected MPs back to parliament on Wednesday in a sign that the country’s political crisis may be heading towards a resolution.

The leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) last week said he no longer recognised the legitimacy of parliament and announced all his MPs would resign as part of his efforts to topple the government.

Khan claims last year’s election was rigged against him, although independent election observers do not think irregularities would have changed the overall result.

The long campaign to force the resignation of the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has, at times, prompted fears the army would step in and derail Pakistan’s weak democracy.

But the return of the MPs and the dwindling number of PTI supporters on the streets outside the parliament building suggested Sharif’s government had regained the initiative.

PTI leaders also began talks with a government-appointed “political jirga” to negotiate a face-saving end to the crisis, which will probably include a commitment to fresh electoral reforms.

The change in fortunes followed violent clashes between protesters and police over the weekend that left three dead and hundreds injured.

But analysts said Khan’s biggest roadblock was the united front shown by Pakistan’s other parties who on Tuesday pledged their support for Sharif remaining in power.

“He has been critically isolated and now he is running out of options,” said political commentator Zahid Hussain.

“He is still hoping against hope that the army will come in but there is now no question of an army takeover.”

During many of his regular speeches in recent weeks, Khan promised his supporters that a “third umpire” would ultimately force Sharif to resign – a thinly veiled reference to Pakistan’s army which has brought down civilian governments in the past.

Khan was accused of working with the army by one of his key allies, veteran politician Javed Hashmi, who parted ways with Khan during the demonstration.

Addressing parliament, senior PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi strongly denied there had been any unconstitutional plan to subvert democracy, insisting that “we are protesting to save parliament, not to destroy it”.

His insistence that the protests had always been peaceful and that “not even a flowerpot was broken during the protests” was mocked by other members of parliament.

The normally immaculate area around Constitution Avenue in the heart of Islamabad’s government quarter in fact looks like a war zone. Trees were set alight by protesters during fighting with police and the gates to the grounds of parliament were smashed open to allow thousands of protesters to pour in and set up a camp.

Khan, who has spent most of the past three weeks living on the streets in a converted sea container on wheels, did not attend the debate. His cause was also set back when some of his party workers were identified among protesters who temporarily seized the offices of the state broadcaster.

Nor was there any clarification on whether the PTI MPs, many of whom were said to be unhappy about the demand for them to sacrifice their seats, would finally resign from parliament.

On Wednesday the crowds that at times had been as large as 50,000 people had dwindled to a few thousand.

Many of them did not appear to be PTI supporters but followers of Tahir-ul-Qadri, a populist cleric who led a parallel protest in the capital against the entire political system, which he claims is hopeless corrupt.

Addressing his longsuffering supporters on Wednesday, Qadri continued to insist the prime minister would have to step down. But the chances of that happening appeared ever more remote.


Pakistan Army

The Pakistan Army (Urdu: پاک فوج Pak Fauj (IPA: Pɑk fɒ~ɔd͡ʒ); Reporting name: PA) is the land-based uniform service branch of thePakistan Armed Forces. It came into existence after the independence of Pakistan in 1947. The Pakistan Army is a volunteer professional fighting force.[1] According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) it has an active force of 550,000 personnel in 2010. In addition there were around 500,000 reserves bringing the total to 1,050,000 troops.[2] The Constitution of Pakistan contains a provision for conscription, but it has never been imposed.

The primary mandate and mission of the army is “dedicated to the service of the nation.”[3] Since establishment in 1947, the Army (along with its inter–services: Navy, Marines and the Air Force) has been involved in three wars with neighbouring India and several borderskirmishes with Afghanistan.[4] Since 1947 it has maintained strong presence along with its inter-services in the Arab states during the past Arab-Israeli Wars, and aided the coalition in the first Gulf War. Recently, major joint-operations undertaken by the Army includeOperation Black Thunderstorm and Operation Rah-e-Nijat. Apart from conflicts, the army has been an active participant in UN missions and played a major role in rescuing trapped American soldiers from Mogadishu of Somalia in 1993 in Operation Gothic Serpent.

Under the Article 243, the Constitution of Pakistan appoints the President of Pakistan as the civilian Commander-in-Chief. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), by statute a four-star general, is appointed by the President with the consultation and confirmation needed from the Prime Minister of Pakistan.[5] The Pakistan Army is currently commanded by General Raheel Sharif.[6][7]


The Pakistan Army serves as the land-based branch of the Pakistan military. Chapter 2 of PART XII of the Constitution of Pakistan defines the purpose of the Army along with the other parts of the Armed Forces as:[8]

The Armed Forces shall, under the directions of the Federal Government, defend Pakistan against external aggression or threat of war, and, subject to law, act in aid of civil power when called upon to do so.[9]



General Ayub Khan arriving to take command of the Pakistan Army in 1951

The Pakistan Army was created on 30 June 1947 from the division of the British Indian Army. The then soon to be created Dominion of Pakistanreceived six armoured, eight artillery and eight infantry regiments compared to the 12 armoured, forty artillery and twenty one infantry regiments that went to India. Fearing that India would take over the state of Kashmir, irregulars, scouts and tribal groups entered the Muslim majority state of Kashmir to oppose the Maharaja of Kashmir 1947. In response to this, the Maharaja acceded to India. The Indian Armed Forces were then deployed to Kashmir. This led to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. Regular Army units joined the invasion later on but were stopped after the refusal of the Chief of Army Staff, British officer General Sir Frank Messervy, to obey Pakistani leader Muhammed Ali Jinnah’s orders to move the Army into Kashmir. A ceasefire followed on UN intervention with Pakistan occupying the northwestern part of Kashmir and India occupying the rest. Later, during the 1950s, the Pakistan Army received large amounts of economic and military aid from the United States and Great Britain after signing two mutual defence treaties, the Baghdad Pact, which led to the formation of the Central Treaty Organization, and the South East Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO) in 1954. This aid greatly expanded the Pakistan Army from its modest beginnings.

The sole divisions that went to Pakistan were the 7th. 8th and 9th Divisions. The 10th, 12th and 14th Divisions were raised in 1948. The 15th Division of the Army was raised in 1950. At some point before 1954, the 6th Division was raised and the 9th Division was disbanded.


Pakistan Army took over from politicians for the first time when General Ayub Khan came to power through a bloodless coup in 1958. He formed Convention Muslim League which included Z.A. Bhutto, who would later become Pakistan’s first democratically elected Prime Minister. Tensions with India flared in the 1960s and a brief border skirmish was fought near the Rann of Kutch area during April 1965. The Army attacked India from the Kashmir front. In response on the night of 6 September 1965 Indian Armyopened the war front to Punjab Province of Pakistan, The Indian Army reached near the Pakistani city of Lahore, eventually capturing a large area of Pakistan but a treaty was reached and the area was given back. The war ended with UN backed ceasefire and followed by Tashkent Declaration. According to the Library of Congress Country Studies conducted by the Federal Research Division of the United States, the war was inconclusive militarily.[10] The war was militarily inconclusive; each side held prisoners and some territory belonging to the other.

The Pakistan Army considers itself to have achieved a victory because it simply insists and ignores the treaty of Tashkent by saying it was arranged by USSR, who managed to hold off significantly larger force attacking Pakistani territory at different points, which the Pakistan Army did not expect and was not prepared or equipped for. Indian sources as well as most neutral sources disagree and call the end result an Indian victory. All though Pakistan failed in gaining all of Kashmir, there was highly effective support from the Pakistan Air Force which was unexpected is often considered to have neutralized India’s advantage in quantity of forces to a great extent. The accurate artillery fire provided by the Pakistan Army artillery units is also stated to have played a significant role.

An uprising against General Ayub Khan during 1968 and 1969 resulted in Ayub Khan relinquishing his office as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Army in favour of General Yahya Khan, who assumed power in 1969. The 16th Division, 18th Division and the 23rd Division were raised at some point between 1966 and 1969 and the 9th Division was also re-raised during this period.


During the rule of Yahya Khan, the people of East Pakistan protested against various political and economic disparities that had been imposed on them by West Pakistan and massive civil unrest broke out in East Pakistan. During operations against these rebels, called Operation Searchlight, a faction of the Pakistan Army was responsible for the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities.[11]Beginning with the start of Operation Searchlight on 25 March 1971 and due to the Bangladesh Liberation War, there were numerous human rights abuses in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) perpetrated by the Pakistan Army, with support from local political and religious militias, especially against Hindus.[12][13] Time reported a high ranking US official as saying “It is the most incredible, calculated thing since the days of the Nazis in Poland.”[14]

The original plan envisioned taking control of the major cities on 26 March 1971, and then eliminating all opposition, political or military,[15] within one month. The prolonged Bengali resistance was not anticipated by Pakistani planners.[16] The main phase of Operation Searchlight ended with the fall of the last major town in Bengali hands in the mid of May.

Soon heavy fighting broke out between the Pakistan Army and the Indian-backed Bengali rebels. In this period the Pakistan Army killed an estimated 3 million people. In December 1971 Pakistan attacked India’s western air bases, in an attempt to thwart Indian support for the rebels. This officially led to start of the Pakistan India War of 1971 (also called the Bangladesh Liberation War). In the eastern theatre the Pakistan Army was decimated by the Indian Army and rebels, while in the western front the Pakistan Army was defeated in the battles of Basanter and Longewalla.

On 16 December 1971, Lt. Gen A. A. K. Niazi, CO of Pakistan Army forces located in East Pakistan signed the Instrument of Surrender. Over 93,000 Pakistani personnel surrendered to the Indian and Bengali forces making it the largest surrender since World War II.

In 1997 R. J. Rummel published a book, available on the web, called “Statistics of Democide: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900”, In Chapter 8 called “Statistics Of Pakistan’s Democide Estimates, Calculations, And Sources” he looks at the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Rummel wrote:

In East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) [the President of Pakistan, General Agha Mohammed Yahya Khan, and his top generals] also planned to murder its Bengali intellectual, cultural, and political elite. They also planned to indiscriminately murder hundreds of thousands of its Hindus and drive the rest into India. And they planned to destroy its economic base to insure that it would be subordinate to West Pakistan for at least a generation to come. This plan may be perceived as genocide.[17]

According to Maj. (Retd.) Agha Humayun Amin, the Pakistan Army commanders had not seriously considered an Indian invasion of East Pakistan until December 1971 because it was presumed that the Indian military would not risk Chinese or US intervention. Maj Mazhar states that the Pakistan Army’s senior command failed to realize that the Chinese would be unable to intervene during the winter months of November to December due to snowbound Himalayan passes and the US had not made any real effort to persuade India against attacking East Pakistan.[18]


A Pakistan International Airlines flight was sent to fetch Zulfikar Ali Bhutto from New York, who at that time was presenting Pakistan’s case before the United Nations Security Council on the East Pakistan Crises. Bhutto returned home on 18 December 1971. On 20 December, he was taken to the President House in Rawalpindi where he took over two positions from Yahya Khan, one as President and the other as Chief Martial Law Administrator. Thus he was the first civilian Chief Martial Law Administrator of the Pakistan.


Two AH-1S Cobra attack helicopters of the Pakistan Army Aviation Wing at AVN Base, Multan. These were sold to Pakistan by the US during the Soviet-Afghan war to help defend Pakistan against a possible attack by the Soviets.

In 1977 a coup was staged by General Zia ul-Haq and the government was overthrown. This led to the hanging of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto after he was tried and proclaimed guilty of conspiracy of murdering a politician named Kasuri by Zia’s handpicked judges. Zia retracted on his promise of holding elections within 90 days and ruled as a military dictator until his death in an air crash in 1988. General Mohammad Iqbal Khan served as a joint chief from 1980 to 1984 and was the Chief Martial Law Officer during that time.

In the mid-1970s the Pakistan Army was involved in fighting an uprising in Balochistan. Various Baloch factions, some with the oblique support of the USSR wanted independence or at least greater provincial rights. The rebellion was put down on the behest of the Bhutto government but the Army suffered heavy casualties. After Bhutto was deposed, the province returned to normalcy under General Rahimuddin.

In the 1980s, the Pakistan Armed Forces co-operated with the United States to provide arms, ammunition and intelligence assistance to Afghanistani rebels who were fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

During the 1st Gulf War the Pakistan Army contributed troops for the defence of Saudi Arabia against possible Iraqi attack. The 153 SP Air Defence Regiment deployed in Tabuk scored multiple hits on number of Iraqi Scuds and provided round the clock air defence protection to Saudi troops in the area.


A Pakistan Army soldier keeping watch at Baine Baba Ziarat in Swat

Pakistani forces after victory in Operation Black Thunderstorm.

In October 1999, after the Kargil Conflict ended with the unconditional withdrawal of the Pakistani forces from the Indian controlled peaks, the Pakistan Army overthrew a democratically elected government for the fourth time, resulting in additional sanctions being applied against Pakistan, leading to General Pervez Musharrafcoming to power in a bloodless coup. However, this time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sacked Musharraf when he was on his way to Pakistan from Colombo. He dismissed the Army Chief and appointed General Ziauddin Butt as Army Chief when Musharraf’s plane was in the air. That was not enough, the plane was not allowed to land at the airport in Karachi and barricades were erected on the runway. The corps commanders acted swiftly across Pakistan, particularly in Karachi and Islamabad. Brigadiar Muzaffar Usmani took control of the airport in Karachi and arrested the then Inspector General of Sindh Police, Rana Maqbool Ahmed. Musharraf stepped down as President in August 2008. On 30 July 2009, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled that Musharraf’s imposition of emergency rule was unconstitutional.[19]

After the September 11 attacks in the United States, Pakistan joined the US-led War on Terror and helped the United States armed forces by severing ties with the Taliban and immediately deploying 72,000 troops along Pakistan’s western border to capture or kill Taliban and al-Qaida militants fleeing from Afghanistan. On the north western front, Pakistan initially garrisoned its troops in military bases and forts in the tribal areas. In May 2004 clashes erupted between the Pakistani troops and al-Qaeda’s and other militants joined by local rebels and pro-Taliban forces. However, the offensive was poorly coordinated and the Army suffered heavy casualties, while public support for the attack quickly evaporated. After a two-year conflict from 2004 until 2006, the Pakistani military negotiated a ceasefire with the tribesmen from the region in which they pledged to hunt down al-Qaeda members, stop the Talibanisation of the region and stop attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, the militants did not hold up their end of the bargain and began to regroup and rebuild their strength from the previous two years of conflict.

Militants took over the Lal Masjid in Islamabad. After a six-month standoff fighting erupted again in July 2007 when the Pakistani military decided to use force to end the Lal Masjid threat. Once the operation ended, the newly formed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP (also known as the Pakistan Taliban), an umbrella group of all militants based in FATA, vowed revenge and launched a wave of attacks and suicide bombings which erupted all over North-West Pakistan and major Pakistani cities, including Karachi, throughout 2007.

The militants then expanded their base of operations and moved into the neighbouring Swat Valley, where they imposed Sharia law. The Pakistan Army launched an offensive to re-take the Swat Valley in 2007, but was unable to clear it of the militants who had fled into the mountains and waited for them to leave before taking over the valley again. The militants then launched another wave of terrorist attacks inside Pakistan. The Pakistani government and military tried another peace deal with the militants in Swat Valley in 2008. This was roundly criticized in the West as abdicating to the militants. After initially pledging to lay down their arms if Sharia law was implemented, the Pakistani Taliban subsequently used the Swat Valley as a springboard to launch further attacks into neighbouring regions, reaching to within 60 kilometres (37 mi) of Islamabad.

Public opinion then turned decisively against the Taliban terrorists. This opinion was highlighted following the release of a video showing the flogging of a girl by the Pakistani Taliban in Swat Valley. Similar events and terrorist attacks finally forced the Pakistan Army to launch a decisive attack against the Taliban occupying Swat Valley in April 2009, after having received orders from the political leadership.[20] After heavy fighting the Swat Valley was largely pacified by July 2009, although isolated pockets of Taliban remained in the area.

The next phase of the Pakistan Army’s offensive was the formidable Waziristan region. A US drone attack killed the leader of the Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, in August. A power struggle engulfed the Taliban during September, but by October a new leader had emerged, Hakimullah Mehsud. Under his leadership, the Taliban launched another wave of terrorist attacks throughout Pakistan, killing hundreds of people. After a few weeks of air strikes, artillery and mortar attacks, 30,000 troops moved on South Waziristan, in a three pronged attack. The Pakistan Army re-took South Waziristan and is currently thinking of expanding the campaign to North Waziristan.

On April 2012 an avalanche struck the 6th Northern Light Infantry Battalion headquarters in Ghyari sector of Siachen, entrapping 135 soldiers.[21]

UN Peacekeeping Missions[edit]

In the wake of the new world power equilibrium a more complex security environment has emerged. It is characterized by growing national power politics and state implosions which have necessitated involvement of the United Nations peace keeping forces for conflict resolution.

The United Nations has been undertaking peace keeping operations since its inception, but the need for employment of peace keeping forces has increased significantly since the Gulf War. In 1992 there were 11,000 Blue Berets deployed around the world, by the end of the year the figure rose to 52,000. Presently it exceeds 80,000 troops.

  • UN Operation in Congo (ONUC) 1960–1964
  • UN Security Force in New Guinea, West Irian (UNSF) 1962–1963
  • UN Yemen Observer Mission Yemen (UNYOM) 1963–1964
  • UN Transition Assistance Group in Namibia (UNTAG) 1989–1990
  • UN Iraq–Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM) 1991–2003
  • UN Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) 1993–1996
  • UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) 1992–1993
  • UN Operations in Somalia (UNOSOM) 1992–1995
  • UN Protection Forces in Bosnia (UNPROFOR) 1992–1995
  • UN Observer Mission for Rawanda (UNAMIR) 1993–1996
  • UN Verification Mission in Angola (UNAVEM III) 1995–1997
  • UN Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia (UNTAES) 1996–1997
  • UN Mission of Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP) 1996–2002
  • UN Assistance Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) 2001–2005
  • UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) 1999-to-date

The table below shows the current deployment of Pakistani forces in UN Peacekeeping missions.

Start of operation Name of Operation Location Conflict Contribution
1999 United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) Democratic Republic of Congo Second Congo War 3,556 Troops.[22]
2003 United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Liberia Second Liberian Civil War 2,741 Troops.[22]
2004 United Nations Operation in Burundi ONUB Burundi Burundi Civil War 1,185 Troops.[22]
2004 United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) Côte d’Ivoire Civil war in Côte d’Ivoire 1,145 Troops.[22]
2005 United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) Sudan Second Sudanese Civil War 1,542 Troops.[22]
Staff/Observers 191 Observers.[22]
  • The total amount of troops serving currently in peacekeeping missions is 10,173 (as of March 2007).


Pakistan Army
Flag of the Pakistani Army.svg
Chief of Army Staff
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
Organisation and Components
Structure of the Pakistan Army
Frontier Corps
Frontier Works Organisation
Special Service Group
Army Cantonment Board
Pakistan Armoured Corps
General Headquarters
Pakistan Military Academy
Command and Staff College
National Defence University
Army Ranks of Pakistan
Pakistan Army Generals
History and Traditions
Military history of Pakistan
UN Peacekeeping Missions
Pakistan Army FC
Awards, Decorations and Badges
Awards and Decorations

Command Structure[edit]

The President of Pakistan is the civilian supreme commander of the Pakistan Armed Forces by statute, while the Prime Minister of Pakistan served as the chief executive of Pakistan Armed Forces, both people-elected civilians, Prime Minister and President, maintains the civilian control of the military. The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), a four-star general, is the highest general officer (unless the four-star general is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee), a field and operational commander as well as a highest army four-star general officer, directs the non-combat and combatant operations from army combatant headquarters in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad. The Principal Staff Officers (PSO) assisting him in his duties at theLieutenant-General level include a Chief of General Staff (CGS), under whom the Military Operations and Intelligence Directorates function; the Chief of Logistics Staff (CLS); the Adjutant General (AG); the Quarter-Master General (QMG); the Inspector General of Training and Evaluation (IGT and E); the Military Secretary (MS); and the Engineer-in-Chief, a top army topographer. A major reorganization in GHQ was done in September 2008 under General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, when two new PSO positions were introduced: the Inspector General Arms and the Inspector General Communications and IT, thus raising the number of PSO’s to eight.[23]

The headquarters function also includes the Judge Advocate General (JAG), and the Comptroller of Civilian Personnel, the Engineer-in-Chief of theCorps of Engineers who is also head of Military Engineering Service (MES), all of them also report to the Chief of the Army Staff. Although most of the officer corps were generally Muslim by the 1970s, there were still serving Christian officers the highest rank being attained by Major General Julian Peter who served as the General Officer Commanding of a Division and as general staff officer at Army Headquarters up-till 2006.

Commissioned Officers Rank[edit]

The rank structure is patterned on the British Army model. It consists of commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers and the Junior Commissioned Officers.

Commissioned Officers Ranks of the Pakistan Army
Pay grade O-10 O-9 O-8 O-7 O-6 O-5 O-4 O-3 O-2 O-1
Insignia General pak army.jpg
US-O10 insignia.svg
Lt Gen.jpg
US-O9 insignia.svg
Maj Gen.jpg
US-O8 insignia.svg
Brigadier pak army.jpg
US-O7 insignia.svg
Colonel Pakistan Army.jpg Lt. Colonel Pakistan Army.jpg Major Pakistan Army.jpg Captain Pakistan Army.jpg Lieutenant Pakistan Army.jpg 2 lieutenant.jpg
Title General Lieutenant-General Major-General Brigadier Colonel Lieutenant-Colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Second Lieutenant
Abbreviation Gen LGen MGen Brig Col LCol Maj Capt Lt SLt
NATO Code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
Rank Hierarchy 4-star General 3-star General 2-star General 1-star Officer

Non-commissioned officers wear respective regimental colour chevrons on the right sleeve. Centre point of the uppermost chevron must remain 10 cm from the point of the shoulder. Company / battalion appointments wear the appointments badges on the right wrist.

Structure of Non-Commissioned Officers Ranks of the Pakistan Army
Pay grade OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Insignia Batal H M.jpg Batallion Qu Havildar.jpg Comp Havildar Major.jpg Comp Quat Havildar.jpg Havildar.jpg Naik.jpg Lance Naik.jpg No insignia No insignia
Title Battalion Havildar Major Battalion Quartermaster Havildar Company Havildar Major Company Quartermaster Havildar Havildar Naik Lance Naik Sepoy No Equivalent
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Junior Commissioned Officer Ranks
Insignia Subedar Major.jpg Subedar.jpg Naib Subedar.jpg
Title Subedar Major (infantry and other arms)/Risaldar Major (cavalry and armour) Subedar (infantry and other arms)/Risaldar (cavalry and armour) Naib Subedar (infantry and other arms)/Naib Risaldar (cavalry and armour)

Subdivision by Profession[edit]

The Pakistan Army is divided into two main branches, which are Arms and Services.

Operational Commands[edit]

The Pakistan Army operates three commands during peace time. Each command is headed by General Officer Commanding-in-Chief with the rank of Lieutenant General. Each command is directly affiliated to the Army HQ in Rawalpindi.

According to, drawing on Pakistani media sources, three commands, supervising a number of corps each, have been formed: Northern Command, Central Command, and Southern Command.[24][25]


A corps is an army field formation responsible for a zone within a command theatre. There are three types of corps in the Pakistani Army: Strike, Holding and Mixed. A command generally consists of two or more corps. A corps has Army divisions under its command. The Corps HQ is the highest field formation in the army.

There are 13 Corps in Pakistan Army. 9 of these Corps are composed of Infantry, Mechanized, Armoured, Artillery and Anti-Tank divisions and brigades. Army Air Defence Command is another Corps of Pakistan Army which plays the role of Anti-Aircraft Artillery whereas Army Aviation Corps provides air support to Pakistan Army. Army Strategic Forces Command is responsible for training, deployment and activation of Pakistan’s nuclear missiles. The last Corps is called the Northern Area Command which is Headquartered at Gilgit and is reported to have 5 Infantry Brigades.[26][27][28][29][30][31]

Forces in action or poised for action include XI Corps, which has been heavily engaged in fighting the Taliban and other extremists along Pakistan’s north-western border, an the 323rd Infantry Brigade, part of Forces Command Northern Areas, on the Siachen Glacier.

The peace time commands are given below in their correct order of raising, and location (city).

Flag of the Pakistani Army.svg Headquarters, Pakistani Army, Rawalpindi, Punjab

    • I Corps – headquartered at Mangla Cantonment
      • 6th Armoured Division headquartered at Gujranwala
      • 17th Infantry Division headquartered at Kharian
      • 37th Infantry Division headquartered at Kharian
      • 11th Independent Armoured Brigade
      • Independent Air Defence Brigade
      • Independent Artillery Brigade
      • Independent Infantry Brigade
    • II Corps – headquartered at Multan
      • 1st Armoured Division headquartered at Multan
      • 14th Infantry Division headquartered at Okara
      • 40th Infantry Division headquartered at Okara
      • Independent Armoured Brigade
      • Independent Air Defence Brigade
      • Independent Artillery Brigade
      • Independent Infantry Brigade
    • IV Corps – headquartered at Lahore
      • 2nd Artillery Division headquartered at Gujranwala
      • 10th Infantry Division headquartered at Lahore
      • 11th Infantry Division headquartered at Lahore
      • 3rd Independent Armoured Brigade
      • 212th Infantry Brigade
      • Independent Artillery Brigade
    • XXX Corps – headquartered at Gujranwala
      • 8th Infantry Division headquartered at Sialkot
      • 15th Infantry Division headquartered at Sialkot
      • 2nd Independent Armoured Brigade
      • Independent Anti-Tank Brigade
      • Independent Artillery Brigade
    • XXXI Corps – headquartered at Bahawalpur
      • 26th Mechanized Division headquartered at Bahawalpur[32]
      • 35th Infantry Division headquartered at Bahawalpur
      • 13th Independent Armoured Brigade
      • 101st Independent Infantry Brigade

Pakistan Army Structure 2013

Other Field Formations[edit]

  • Division: An Army Division is an intermediate between a Corps and a Brigade. It is the largest striking force in the army. Each Division is headed by General Officer Commanding (GOC) in the rank of Major General. It usually consists of 15,000 combat troops and 8,000 support elements. Currently, the Pakistani Army has 29 Divisions including 20 Infantry Divisions, 2 Armoured Divisions, 2 Mechanized Divisions, 2 Air Defence Divisions, 2 Strategic Divisions and 1 Artillery Division. Each Division composes of several Brigades.
  • Brigade: A Brigade generally consists of around 3,000 combat troops with supporting elements. An Infantry Brigade usually has 3 Infantry Battalions along with various Support Arms & Services. It is headed by a Brigadier, equivalent to a Brigadier General in some armies. In addition to the Brigades in various Army Divisions, the Pakistani Army also has 7 Independent Armoured Brigades, 5 Independent Artillery Brigades, 3 Independent Infantry Brigades, and 3 Anti-Tank Brigades. These Independent Brigades operate directly under the Corps Commander (GOC Corps).
  • Regiment: A regiment is commanded by a Colonel.
  • Battalion: A Battalion is commanded by a Lieutenant-Colonel and is the Infantry’s main fighting unit. It consists of more than 900 combat personnel.
  • Company: Headed by the Major/Captain, a Company comprises about 120–150 soldiers.
  • Platoon: An intermediate between a Company and Section, a Platoon is headed by a Lieutenant or depending on the availability of Commissioned Officers, a Junior Commissioned Officer, with the rank of Subedar or Naib-Subedar. It has a total strength of about 30–36 troops.
  • Section: Smallest military outfit with a strength of about 9–13 personnel. Commanded by a Non-commissioned officer of the rank of Havildar Major or Sergeant Major.


Pakistan’s Honor Guards at theAiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad

There are several battalions or units associated together in an infantry regiment. The infantry regiment in the Pakistani Army is an administrative military organisation and not a field formation. All the battalions of a regiment do not fight together as one formation, but are dispersed over various formations, viz. brigades, divisions and corps. An infantry battalion serves for a period of time under a formation and then moves to another, usually in another sector or terrain when its tenure is over. Occasionally, battalions of the same regiment may serve together for a tenure.

Most of the infantry regiments of the Pakistani Army originate from the old British Indian Army and recruit troops from a region or of specific ethnicities.

Regiments of the Pakistani Army include:

Special Forces[edit]

The Special Services Group (SSG) is an independent commando regiment/corps of the Pakistan Army. It is an elite special operations force similar to the United States Army Special Forces(Green Berets) and the British Army‘s SAS.

Combat doctrine[edit]

The Pakistan Army has developed a doctrine called the Riposte which is a limited “offensive-defence”[33] doctrine. It has refined it consistently starting in 1989 during the “Exercise Zarb-e-Momin”. This doctrine is fully focused towards Pakistan’s archenemy, India.

The doctrine is derived from several factors:[34]

  1. The vulnerability of Pakistan is that so many of its major population centres and politically and military sensitive targets lie very close to the border with India. As such Pakistan can ill-afford to lose large territories to an Indian attack.
  2. ‘Strategic depth’ in the form of a friendly Afghanistan is deemed vital by military planners.
  3. India has substantially enhanced its offensive capabilities, with the Cold Start Doctrine. Any counterattack would be very tricky against the large number of Indian troops involved. The response of the Pakistani army includes the development of the Nasr missile.
  4. Holding formations in both India and Pakistan can man their forward defensive positions and fortifications in less than 24 hours. However, Corps level reserves with large stockpiles of munitions will take between 24 to 72 hours for mobilization after being given their orders. In this regard, both armies will be evenly matched in the first 24 hours since the Pakistani units have to travel a shorter distance to their forward positions.

This doctrine entails Pakistan in the event of hostilities with India will not wait for the enemy’s offensive, but rather launch an offensive of its own. The offensive will be a limited advance along narrow fronts with the aim of occupying territory near the border to a depth of 40–50 km. Since Indian forces will not reach their maximum strength near the border for another 48–72 hours, Pakistan might have parity or numerical superiority against the Indians.

The Pakistani Army hopes to accomplish three things under this strategy:[34]

  1. The enemy is kept off-balance as it will be tied up containing the Pakistani offensive into its territory rather than launching an offensive into Pakistani territory.
  2. The Pakistani Army hopes to contain the fighting on the Indian side of the border so that any collateral or other damage will be suffered by India.
  3. Indian territory of strategic importance once seized, will give the Pakistani Army a bargaining chip to be used in the aftermath of a ceasefire brought about by international pressure after 3–4 weeks of fighting.
  4. The use of tactical battlefield nuclear missile such as Nasr missile that provide maximal damage against massed troops for extremely limited collateral casualties.

Kashmir, Line of Control and the Northern Punjab areas are heavily fortified and ill-suited for large mechanized offensives. The most likely area where Pakistan might launch its offensive is the semi-desert and desert sectors in southern Punjab and Sindh provinces.

To supplement this doctrine, the Army in the 1990s created a strong centralized corps of reserves for its formations. The force is known as Army Reserve South and is a grouping of several powerful Corps from Pakistan’s Order of Battle. These formations have been rapidly equipped with assets needed for mechanized capability. These reserve formations are dual-capable, meaning they can be used for offensive as well as defensive (holding) purposes. Pakistan has also increased its ammunition, fuel and other military stockpiles to last for 45 days in case of a conflict. During the 1965 war for instance, Pakistan only had 13-day reserves which hampered its military operations.

Political and Corporate Activities[edit]

The Pakistan Army has always played an integral part in local politics since its inception mainly on the pretext of lack of good civilian leadership corruption and inefficieny.[35] It has virtually acted as a third party that has repeatedly seized power in the name of stabilizing Pakistan and ending corruption. However, according to the political observers, political instability, lawlessness and corruption are direct consequences of army rule.[36][37]

The tradition of insubordination of the army towards the legitimate leadership of can be traced back to Lt. Gen Frank Messervy who resisted the orders of Pakistan’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah. This was described as the main reason for his early retirement. However it did not prevent him being honored and promoted to general. Later Douglas Gracey, the C in C of the Pakistan Army did not send troops to the Kashmir front and refused to obey the order to do so given by Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Governor-General of Pakistan .[38] Gracey argued that Jinnah as Governor-General represented the British Crown of which he himself was an appointee. The same tradition was continued by their successors, Ayub Khan, Zia and Musharraf, all of whom received honours instead of being tried for indiscipline, corruption and insubordination.

The army runs the largest real estate business in Pakistan under the auspices of Defense Housing Societies and other welfare societies. However out 46 housing schemes directly built by the armed forces, none is for ordinary soldiers or civilian officers and personnel employed by the army.[39] The Army is also engaged in other corporate activities such as stud and dairy farms meant for the army’s own use. Others enterprises perform functions in local civilian economy such as bakeries, security services and banking. Army factories produced such goods as sugar, fertilizer, and brass castings and sold them to civilian consumers albeit at prices higher than those charged from military personnel.[40]

Several Army organizations operate in the commercial sector across the country. For example, the National Logistics Cell was responsible for trucking food and other goods across the country; the Frontier Works Organization built the Karakoram Highway to China; and the Special Communication Organization maintained communications networks in remote parts of Pakistan.

Involvement in Pakistani society[edit]

The Pakistan Army has played an integral part in the civil society of Pakistan, almost since its inception.[41] In 1996, General Jehangir Karamat described Pakistan armed forces’ relations with the society:

In my opinion, if we have to repeat of past events then we must understand that Military leaders can pressure only up to a point. Beyond that their own position starts getting undermined because the military is after all is a mirror image of the civil society from which it is drawn.

—General Jehangir Karamat on civil society–military relations, [41]

In times of natural disaster, such as the great floods of 1992 or the October 2005 devastating earthquake, army engineers, medical and logistics personnel, and the armed forces played a major role in bringing relief and supplies.

The Pakistan Army has been involved in relief activities not only in Pakistan but also in many other countries of the world, such as the relief activities after Bangladesh was hit by floods. The Army also dispatched relief to Indonesia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka after they were hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the resulting tsunami. Both the Pakistan Army and Navy sent ships and helicopters to assist in the tsunami relief operation.


According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) the Pakistan Army has an active force of 550,000 personnel in 2010.[2] In addition there were around 500,000 reserves bringing the total to 1,050,000.

Enlisted Ranks[edit]

Most enlisted personnel used to come from rural families, and many have only rudimentary literacy skills, but with the increase in the literacy level the requirements have been raised to Matriculate level (10th Grade). Recruits are processed gradually through a paternalistically run regimental training center, taught the official language, Urdu, if necessary, and given a period of elementary education before their military training actually starts.

In the thirty-six-week training period, they develop an attachment to the regiment they will remain with through much of their careers and begin to develop a sense of being a Pakistani rather than primarily a member of a tribe or a village. Enlisted men usually serve for eighteen years, during which they participate in regular training cycles and have the opportunity to take academic courses to help them advance.

Officer Ranks[edit]

Each year, about 320 men and women enter the Army bi-annually through the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul in Abbottabad in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; a small number—like doctors and technical specialists—are directly recruited, and are part of the officer corps. The product of a highly competitive selection process, members of the officer corps have completed twelve years of education and spend two years at the Pakistan Military Academy, with their time divided about equally between military training and academic work to bring them up to a baccalaureate education level, which includes English-language skills.

Academic Institutions[edit]

The Army has twelve other training and educational establishments, including schools concentrating on specific skills such as infantry, artillery, intelligence, engineering, or mountain warfare. The National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) has been established which has absorbed the existing colleges of engineering, signals, electrical engineering and medicine. At the apex of the army training system is the Command and Staff College at Quetta, one of the few institutions inherited from the colonial period. The college offers a ten-month course in tactics, staff duties, administration, and command functions through the division level. Students from foreign countries, including the United States, have attended the school but reportedly have been critical of its narrow focus and failure to encourage speculative thinking or to give adequate attention to less glamorous subjects, such as logistics.[citation needed]

The senior training institution for all service branches is the National Defence University, Islamabad. Originally established in 1971 at Rawalpindi, to provide training in higher military strategy for senior officers, the institution was relocated to Islamabad in 1995. According to Aqil Shah, the NDU is significant for understanding the institutional norms of military tutelage in Pakistan because it constitutes the “highest forum where the military leadership comes together for common instruction.” Without graduating from the NDU (or a foreign equivalent), no officer can become a general. Besides, the NDU training program represents a radical shift from the emphasis on operational and staff functions in the training of junior officers (for example, majors at the Staff College) to educating colonels and brigadiers about a broad range of strategic political, social, and economic factors as they affect national security. In that sense, it constitutes the senior officer corps’s baptism into a shared ideological framework about the military’s appropriate role, status, and behavior in relation to state and society. These shared values affect how these officers perceive and respond to civilian governmental decisions, policies, and political crises.[42] It also offers courses that allow civilians to explore the broader aspects of national security. In a program begun in the 1980s to upgrade the intellectual standards of the officer corps and increase awareness of the wider world, a small group of officers, has been detailed to academic training, achieving master’s degrees and even doctorates at universities in Pakistan and abroad.

Pakistani officers were sent abroad during the 1950s and into the 1960s for training in Britain and other Commonwealth countries, and the United States, where trainees numbering well in the hundreds attended a full range of institutions ranging from armoured and infantry schools to the higher staff and command institutions. After 1961 this training was coordinated under the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program, but numbers varied along with the vicissitudes of the United States-Pakistan military relationship. Of some 200 officers being sent abroad annually in the 1980s, over two-thirds went to the United States, but the cessation of United States aid in 1990 entailed suspension of the IMET program. In 1994 virtually all foreign training was in Commonwealth countries. However, after the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan again begun sending officers to US Army schools. Today there are more than 400 officers serving in foreign countries. Officers retire between the ages of fifty-two and sixty, depending on their rank.

Science and Technology[edit]

Apart from conducting military operations, exercises, and military ethics, the Pakistan Army maintains its own science and technology corps and organizations. Most notable science and engineering corps including Military Engineering Service (MES) Corps of Engineers, Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME), and Frontier Works Organisation. Its Army Strategic Forces Command served as the primary military organization in the matters of conducting and directing research on nuclear and space (such as military satellites). The cadets and officers of the Pakistan Army who wished to study science and technology are given admission at the College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (CEME) and the Military College of Engineering where the scientific and military education are taught. The admissions of engineering colleges are not restricted to civilians as they can also gain admission and graduate with engineering and science degrees.


Pakistan Army uniforms closely resemble those of the British Armed Forces. The principal colour is greenish brown. Dress uniforms were worn mostly on formal occasions. The service uniform was worn for daily duty. The service uniform for the ground forces was khaki (sand/tan) cotton. Officers purchased their uniforms, but enlisted personnel received a standard uniform issue, which consisted of service and field uniforms, fatigues, and in some cases, dress uniforms. The uniforms consisted of shirt, trousers, sweater, jacket or blouse, and boots. There is also a white dress uniform. The fatigues were the same for winter and summer. Heavy winter gear was issued as needed. Headgear included a service cap for dress and semi-dress and a field cap worn with fatigues. Army personnel also wear berets, usually worn in lieu of the service cap.

Brown and black and more recently former US BDU style camouflage fatigues are worn by army troop units. The uniform of a Pakistan army soldier exhibits much information i.e.

Pakistan Army has introduced pixilated arid camouflage pattern in uniform and resized qualification badges which are now colourless and service ribbons are no longer worn along with the ranks are now embroidered and are on chest. The name is embroidered and is on right pocket and the left pocket displays embroidered Pak Army. Flag of Pakistan is placed over the black embroidered formation sign on the left arm and adventure course insignias are put up as per ADR for khaki uniform,[43] decorations & awards[44] and the ranks.[45]

Ethnic composition[edit]

Traditionally, the army was a predominantly Punjabi force because of its dominant Population (Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country’s total population). In British India, three districts: Jhelum, Rawalpindi, and Campbellpur (now Attock) dominated the recruitment flows. By 2007 the percentage representation in the Pakistan Army as a whole was approximate as follows:
Punjabis: 53.19%
Pashtuns: 20%
Sindhis: 14.5%
Kashmiris: 9.11%
Baloch: 3.2% .

Extensive efforts have been made to bring the Baloch and Sindhis on par with other ethnicities, presently the Army recruitment system is enlisting personnel district-wise irrespective of provincial boundaries. This decision has given a fair chance to every citizen of Pakistan to be part of the Pakistan Army as each district possesses a fixed percentage of seats in all branches of the army, as per census records. Large numbers of men from Sindh and Balochistan have joined the ranks of the army and have proved their commitment and bravery to the national cause in Kargil and the ongoing global war on terrorism.[40][46]

Women and non-Muslim Pakistanis[edit]

Women have served in the Pakistan Army since its foundation. Currently, there is a sizeable number of women serving in the Pakistan Army. Most women are recruited in the Army to perform medical and educational work. There is also a Women’s Guard section of Pakistan’s National Guard where women are trained in nursing, welfare and clerical work and there are also women recruited in very limited numbers for the Janbaz Force. Only recently has Pakistan began to recruit women for combat positions and the Elite Anti-Terrorist Force in 2007, several female graduates were nominated to be Sky Marshals for Pakistan based airlines.[47] In addition recently eight of the 41 cadets from the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul became the first women guards of honour.[48] Pakistan is the only country in the Islamic world to have female Major Generals in the Army.[49] Major General Shahida Malik was Pakistan’s first female two-star general.[citation needed]

Non Muslim Pakistanis are allowed to sit in all examinations and serve in any part of the Pakistan Army.

There have been numerous Christians who have risen to the rank of Brigadier; and in the 1990 the first Christian promoted to the rank of Major General was Julian Peter who commanded the 14th Div in Okara Cantt. In 2009 brigadier Noel Israel Khokhar, was also promoted to rank of Major General. Capt. Hercharn Singh, the first Sikh as Commissioned Officer in Pakistan Army. He was commissioned in Baloch Regiment. Currently, he’s serving as an ADC to a Corps Commander.

Recipients of Nishan-e-Haider[edit]

Nishan-e-Haider; Pakistan’s highest military award.

The Nishan-e-Haider (Urdu: نشان حیدر) (Sign of the Lion) is the highest military award given by Pakistan, ranking above the Hilal-i-Jur’at (Crescent of Courage). Nishan-e-Haider recipients receive an honorary title as a sign of respect: Shaheed meaning martyr for deceased recipients. As of 19 Sep 2013, all Nishan-e-Haider awards have thus far been given to the people engaged in battles with India.

Similar to the American Medal of Honor or the British Victoria Cross, it has only been awarded to 9 Pakistan Army personnel since 1947:

Name Unit Conflict Date Place of Death
Captain Muhammad Sarwar 2nd Battalion of the Punjab Regiment War of 1947 27 July 1948 Uri, Kashmir
Major Tufail Mohammad 16th Battalion of the Punjab Regiment 1958 Border clash with India 7 August 1958 Lakshmipur District
Major Aziz Bhatti 17th Battalion of the Punjab Regiment War of 1965 10 September 1965 Lahore District
Major Mohammad Akram 4th Battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment War of 1971 1971 East Pakistan
Major Shabbir Sharif 6th Battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment War of 1971 6 December 1971 Salmanki Sector, Kasur
Lance Naik Muhammad Mahfuz 15th Battalion of the Punjab Regiment War of 1971 8 December 1971 Wagah-Attari
Sawar Muhammad Hussain 20th Lancers, Armoured Corps War of 1971 10 December 1971 Zafarwal-Shakargarh
Captain Karnal Sher Khan 12th Battalion of the Northern Light Infantry Kargil War 5 July 1999 Kargil, Indian administered Kashmir
Havaldar Lalak Jan 12th Battalion of the Northern Light Infantry Kargil War 7 July 1999 Kargil, Indian administered Kashmir

Recipients of foreign awards[edit]

Two Pakistani pilots belonging to the army aviation branch of Pakistan Army who carried out a daring rescue of a mountaineer were given Slovenia’s top award for bravery. Slovenian, Tomaz Humar got stranded on the western end of the 8,125m Nanga Parbat mountain where he remained for around a week on top of the world’s ninth-highest peak. The helicopter pilots plucked the 38-year-old from an icy ledge 6,000m up the peak known as “killer mountain”.

The Slovenian President presented Lt Col Rashid Ullah Beg and Lt Col Khalid Amir Rana with the Golden Order for Services in the country’s capital, Ljubljana, for risking their lives during the rescue mission, a Pakistan Army statement said.[50]

Pakistan Army team was awarded a gold medal at the prestigious Cambrian Patrol Exercise held in Wales in 2010. According to ISPR, “Rawalpindi Corps team represented Pakistan Army in Exercise Cambrian Patrol – 2010, held from 11–13 October 2010 and by the Grace of Allah, the team showed an excellent performance by winning a Gold Medal in the event, which is a big honour not only for Army but for the Country as a whole.”[51][52][53][54]


The equipment currently in use by the Pakistan Army is divided into the following main sections: small arms, armour, artillery, aircraft and air defence systems. Most equipment of the Pakistan Army tends to be of either Chinese, European or American origin.


The Pakistan Army has a noteworthy sports program with elite athletes in many sports disciplines.[55] An example of the program’s success is its basketball program which regularly provides the Pakistan national basketball team with key players.[56]


  1. Jump up^ Walsh, Declan (31 May 2007). “Book shines light on Pakistan military’s ‘£10bn empire'”. The Guardian(London).
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External links[edit]

Official websites
Web resources

Anonymous (group)

This article is about a group of activists. For other uses, see Anonymous (disambiguation).

An image commonly associated with Anonymous. The “man without a head” represents leaderless organization and anonymity.[1]

Individuals appearing in public as Anonymous, wearing Guy Fawkes masks
Formationc. 2004TypeMultiple-use name/avatar;
Virtual community;
Voluntary associationPurposeanti-cyber-surveillance;
Internet activism;
Internet vigilantismRegion servedGlobalMembershipDecentralized affinity groupAnonymous (used as a mass noun) is a loosely associated international network of activist and hacktivist entities. A website nominally associated with the group describes it as “an internet gathering” with “a very loose and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives”.[2] The group became known for a series of well-publicized publicity stunts and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on government, religious, and corporate websites.

Anonymous originated in 2003 on the imageboard 4chan, representing the concept of many online and offline community users simultaneously existing as an anarchic, digitized global brain.[3][4] Anonymous members (known as “Anons”) can be distinguished in public by the wearing of stylised Guy Fawkes masks.[5]

In its early form, the concept was adopted by a decentralized online community acting anonymously in a coordinated manner, usually toward a loosely self-agreed goal, and primarily focused on entertainment, or “lulz“. Beginning with 2008’s Project Chanology—a series of protests, pranks, and hacks targeting the Church of Scientology—the Anonymous collective became increasingly associated with collaborative hacktivism on a number of issues internationally. Individuals claiming to align themselves with Anonymous undertook protests and other actions (including direct action) in retaliation against anti–digital piracy campaigns by motion picture and recording industry trade associations. Later targets of Anonymous hacktivism included government agencies of the US, Israel, Tunisia, Uganda, and others; child pornography sites; copyright protection agencies; the Westboro Baptist Church; and corporations such as PayPalMasterCardVisa, and Sony. Anons have publicly supported WikiLeaks and the Occupy movement. Related groups LulzSec and Operation AntiSec carried out cyberattacks on US government agencies, media, video game companies, military contractors, military personnel, and police officers, resulting in the attention of law enforcement to the groups’ activities. It has been described as being anti-Zionist, and has threatened to erase Israel from the Internet[6] and engaged in the “#OpIsrael” cyber-attacks of Israeli websites on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) in 2013.[7]

Dozens of people have been arrested for involvement in Anonymous cyberattacks, in countries including the US, UK, Australia, the Netherlands, Spain, and Turkey. Evaluations of the group’s actions and effectiveness vary widely. Supporters have called the group “freedom fighters”[8] and digital Robin Hoods[9] while critics have described them as “a cyber lynch-mob”[10] or “cyber terrorists”.[11] In 2012, Time called Anonymous one of the “100 most influential people” in the world.[12]

Contents  [hide]

PhilosophyAnonymous has no strictly defined philosophy, and internal dissent is a regular feature of the group.[2] A website associated with the group describes it as “an internet gathering” with “a very loose and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives”.[2] Gabriella Coleman writes of the group, “In some ways, it may be impossible to gauge the intent and motive of thousands of participants, many of who don’t even bother to leave a trace of their thoughts, motivations, and reactions. Among those that do, opinions vary considerably.”[13]

Broadly speaking, Anons oppose internet censorship and control, and the majority of their actions target governments, organizations, and corporations that they accuse of censorship. Anons were early supporters of the global Occupy movement and the Arab Spring.[14] Since 2008, a frequent subject of disagreement within Anonymous is whether members should focus on pranking and entertainment or more serious (and in some cases political) activism.[15][16]

“We [Anonymous] just happen to be a group of people on the internet who need—just kind of an outlet to do as we wish, that we wouldn’t be able to do in regular society. …That’s more or less the point of it. Do as you wish. … There’s a common phrase: ‘we are doing it for the lulz.’”—Trent Peacock. Search Engine: The face of Anonymous, February 7, 2008.[17]

Because Anonymous has no leadership, no action can be attributed to the membership as a whole. Parmy Olson and others have criticized media coverage that presents the group as well-organized or homogeneous; Olson writes, “There was no single leader pulling the levers, but a few organizational minds that sometimes pooled together to start planning a stunt.”[18] Some members protest using legal means, while others employ illegal measures such as DDoS attacks and hacking.[19] Membership is open to anyone who wishes to state they are a member of the collective;[15] Carole Cadwalladr of The Observer compared the group’s decentralized structure to that of al-Qaeda, writing, “If you believe in Anonymous, and call yourself Anonymous, you are Anonymous.”[20] Olson, who formerly described Anonymous as a “brand”, stated in 2012 that she now characterized it as a “movement” rather than a group: “anyone can be part of it. It is a crowd of people, a nebulous crowd of people, working together and doing things together for various purposes.”[21]

The group’s few rules include not disclosing one’s identity, not talking about the group, and not attacking media.[22] Members commonly use the tagline “We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”[23] Brian Kelly writes that three of the group’s key characteristics are “(1) an unrelenting moral stance on issues and rights, regardless of direct provocation; (2) a physical presence that accompanies online hacking activity; and (3) a distinctive brand.”[24]

Journalists have commented that Anonymous’ secrecy, fabrications, and media awareness pose an unusual challenge for reporting on the group’s actions and motivations.[25][26] Quinn Norton of Wired writes that “Anons lie when they have no reason to lie. They weave vast fabrications as a form of performance. Then they tell the truth at unexpected and unfortunate times, sometimes destroying themselves in the process. They are unpredictable.”[25] Norton states that the difficulties in reporting on the group cause most writers, including herself, to focus on the “small groups of hackers who stole the limelight from a legion, defied their values, and crashed violently into the law” rather than “Anonymous’s sea of voices, all experimenting with new ways of being in the world”.[25]

HistorySee also: Timeline of events associated with Anonymous
4chan raids (2003–2007)Main article: 4chan

KTTV Fox 11 investigative report on Anonymous. The report focused on what were then contemporary instances of internet bullying by Anonymous.[27]
The name Anonymous itself is inspired by the perceived anonymity under which users post images and comments on the Internet. Usage of the term Anonymous in the sense of a shared identity began on imageboards, particularly the /b/ board of 4chan, dedicated to random content. A tag of Anonymous is assigned to visitors who leave comments without identifying the originator of the posted content. Users of imageboards sometimes jokingly acted as if Anonymous was a single individual. The concept of the Anonymous entity advanced in 2004 when an administrator on the 4chan image board activated a “Forced_Anon” protocol that signed all posts as Anonymous.[28] As the popularity of imageboards increased, the idea of Anonymous as a collective of unnamed individuals became an Internet meme.[29]

Users of 4chan’s /b/ board would occasionally join into mass pranks or raids. In a raid on July 12, 2006, for example, large numbers of 4chan readers invaded the Finnish social networking site Habbo Hotel with identical avatars; the avatars blocked regular Habbo members from accessing the digital hotel’s pool, stating it was “closed due to fail and AIDS”.[30] Future LulzSec member Topiary became involved with the site at this time, inviting large audiences to listen to his prank phone calls via Skype.[31][a] Due to the growing traffic on 4chan’s boards, users soon began to plot pranks offline using Internet Relay Chat (IRC).[33] These raids resulted in the first mainstream press story on Anonymous, a report by Fox affiliate KTTV in Los Angeles, California in the U.S. The report called the group “hackers on steroids”, “domestic terrorists”, and an “Internet hate machine”.[27][34]

Encyclopedia Dramatica (2004–present)Main article: Encyclopedia Dramatica
Encyclopedia Dramatica was founded in 2004 by Sherrod DiGrippo, initially as a means of documenting gossip related to livejournal, but it quickly was adopted as a major platform by Anonymous for satirical and other purposes.[35] The not safe for work site celebrates a subversive “trolling culture”, and documents Internet memesculture, and events, such as mass pranks, trolling events, “raids”, large scale failures of Internet security, and criticism of Internet communities that are accused of self-censorship in order to garner prestige or positive coverage from traditional and established media outlets. Journalist Julian Dibbell described Encyclopædia Dramatica as the site “where the vast parallel universe of Anonymous in-jokes, catchphrases, and obsessions is lovingly annotated, and you will discover an elaborate trolling culture: Flamingly racist and misogynist content lurks throughout, all of it calculated to offend.”[35] The site also played a role in the anti-Scientology campaign of Project Chanology.[36]

On April 14, 2011, the original URL of the site was redirected to a new website named Oh Internet that bore little resemblance to Encyclopedia Dramatica. Parts of the ED community harshly criticized the changes.[37] In response, Anonymous launched “Operation Save ED” to rescue and restore the site’s content.[38] The Web Ecology Project made a downloadable archive of former Encyclopedia Dramatica content.[39][40] The site’s reincarnation was initially hosted at on servers owned by Ryan Cleary, who later was arrested in relation to attacks by LulzSec against Sony.

Project Chanology (2008)Main article: Project Chanology
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Message to Scientology“, January 21, 2008
Anonymous first became associated with hacktivism[b] in 2008 following a series of actions against the Church of Scientology known as Project Chanology. On January 15, 2008, the gossip blog Gawker posted a video in which celebrity Scientologist Tom Cruise praised the religion;[41] the Church responded with a cease-and-desist letter for violation of copyright.[42] 4chan users organized a raid against the Church in retaliation, prank-calling its hotline, sending black faxes designed to waste ink cartridges, and launching DDoS attacks against its websites.[43][44]

The DDoS attacks were at first carried out with the applications Gigaloader and JMeter. Within a few days, these were supplanted by theLow Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC), a network stress testing application allowing users to flood a server with TCP or UDP packets. The LOIC soon became a signature weapon in the Anonymous arsenal; however, it would also lead to a number of arrests of less experienced Anons who failed to conceal their IP addresses.[45] Some operators in Anonymous IRC channels incorrectly told or lied to new volunteers that using the LOIC carried no legal risk.[46][47]

Protesters outside a Scientologycenter on February 10, 2008
During the DDoS attacks, a group of Anons including Gregg Housh uploaded a video to YouTubein which a robotic voice speaks on behalf of Anonymous, telling the “leaders of Scientology” that “For the good of your followers, for the good of mankind—for the laughs—we shall expel you from the Internet.”[48][49] Within ten days, the video had attracted hundreds of thousands of views.[49]

On February 10, thousands of Anonymous joined simultaneous protests at Church of Scientology facilities around the world.[50] Many protesters wore the stylized Guy Fawkes masks popularized by the graphic novel and movie V for Vendetta, in which an anarchist revolutionary battles a totalitarian government; the masks soon became a popular symbol for Anonymous.[51] In-person protests against the Church continued throughout the year, including “Operation Party Hard” on March 15 and “Operation Reconnect” on April 12.[52][53][54] However, by mid-year, they were drawing far fewer protesters, and many of the organizers in IRC channels had begun to drift away from the project.[55]

Operation: Payback is a Bitch (2010)By the start of 2009, Scientologists had stopped engaging with protesters and had improved online security, and actions against the group had largely ceased. A period of infighting followed between the politically engaged members (called “moralfags” in the parlance of 4chan) and those seeking to provoke for entertainment (trolls).[56] By September 2010, the group had received little publicity for a year and faced a corresponding drop in member interest; its raids diminished greatly in size and moved largely off of IRC channels, organizing again from the chan boards, particularly /b/.[57]

In September 2010, however, Anons became aware of Aiplex Software, an Indian software company that contracted with film studios to launch DDoS attacks on websites providing pirated content, such as The Pirate Bay.[58][57] Coordinating through IRC, Anons launched a DDoS attack on September 17 that shut down Aiplex’s website for a day. Primarily using LOIC, the group then targeted the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), successfully bringing down both sites.[59] On September 19, future LulzSec member Mustafa Al-Bassam (known as “Tflow”) and other Anons hacked the website of copyright alliance, an anti-piracy group, and posted the name of the operation: “Payback Is A Bitch”.[60] Anons also issued a press release, stating:

Anonymous is tired of corporate interests controlling the internet and silencing the people’s rights to spread information, but more importantly, the right to SHARE with one another. The RIAA and the MPAA feign to aid the artists and their cause; yet they do no such thing. In their eyes is not hope, only dollar signs. Anonymous will not stand this any longer.[61]

As IRC network operators were beginning to shut down networks involved in DDoS attacks, Anons organized a group of servers to host an independent IRC network, titled AnonOps.[62]Operation Payback’s targets rapidly expanded to include the British law firm ACS:Law,[63] the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft,[64] the British nightclub Ministry of Sound,[65] the Spanish copyright society,[66] the US Copyright Office,[67] and the website of Gene Simmons of Kiss.[68] By October 7, 2010, total downtime for all websites attacked during Operation Payback was 537.55 hours.[68]

In November 2010, the organization WikiLeaks began releasing a hundreds of thousands of leaked US diplomatic cables. In the face of legal threats against the organization by the US government, booted WikiLeaks from its servers, and PayPalMasterCard, and Visa cut off service to the organization.[69] Operation Payback then expanded to include “Operation Avenge Assange”, and Anons issued a press release declaring PayPal a target.[70] Launching DDoS attacks with the LOIC, Anons quickly brought down the websites of the PayPal blog; PostFinance, a Swiss financial company denying service to WikiLeaks; EveryDNS, a web-hosting company that had also denied service; and the website of US Senator Joe Lieberman, who had supported the push to cut off services.[71]

On December 8, Anons launched an attack against PayPal’s main site. According to Topiary, who was in the command channel during the attack, the LOIC proved ineffective, and Anons were forced to rely on the botnets of two hackers for the attack, marshaling hijacked computers for a concentrated assault.[72] Security researcher Sean-Paul Correll also reported that the “zombie computers” of involuntary botnets had provided 90% of the attack.[73] Topiary states that he and other Anons then “lied a bit to the press to give it that sense of abundance”, exaggerating the role of the grassroots membership. However, this account was disputed.[74]

The attacks brought down for an hour on December 8 and another brief period on December 9.[75] Anonymous also disrupted the sites for Visa and MasterCard on December 8.[76] Anons had announced an intention to bring down as well, but failed to do so, allegedly because of infighting with the hackers who controlled the botnets.[77] PayPal estimated the damage to have cost the company US$5.5 million. It later provided the IP addresses of 1,000 of its attackers to the FBI, leading to at least 14 arrests.[78] On Thursday, December 5, 2013, 13 of the Pay Pal 14 plead guilty to taking part in the attacks.[79]

A member holding an Anonymous flier at Occupy Wall Street, a protest that the group actively supported, September 17, 2011
In the years following Operation Payback, targets of Anonymous protests, hacks, and DDoS attacks continued to diversify. Beginning in January 2011, Anons took a number of actions known initially as Operation Tunisia in support of Arab Spring movements. Tflow created a script that Tunisians could use to protect their web browsers from government surveillance, while fellow future LulzSec member Hector Xavier Monsegur (alias “Sabu”) and others allegedly hijacked servers from a London web-hosting company to launch a DDoS attack on Tunisian government websites, taking them offline. Sabu also used a Tunisian volunteer’s computer to hack the website of Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, replacing it with a message from Anonymous.[80] Anons also helped Tunisian dissidents share videos online about the uprising.[81] In Operation Egypt, Anons collaborated with the activist group Telecomix to help dissidents access government-censored websites.[81] Sabu and Topiary went on to participate in attacks on government websites in Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Jordan, and Zimbabwe.[82]

Tflow, Sabu, Topiary, and Ryan Ackroyd (known as “Kayla”) collaborated in February 2011 on a cyber-attack against Aaron Barr, CEO of the computer security firm HBGary Federal, in retaliation for his research on Anonymous and his threat to expose members of the group. Using a SQL injection weakness, the four hacked the HBGary site, used Barr’s captured password to vandalize his Twitter feed with racist messages, and released an enormous cache of HBGary’s e-mails in a torrent file on Pirate Bay.[83] The e-mails stated that Barr and HBGary had proposed to Bank of America a plan to discredit WikiLeaks in retaliation for a planned leak of Bank of America documents,[84] and the leak caused substantial public relations harm to the firm as well as leading one US congressman to call for a congressional investigation.[85] Barr resigned as CEO before the end of the month.[86]

Several attacks by Anons have targeted organizations accused of homophobia. In February 2011, an open letter was published on threatening the Westboro Baptist Church, an organization based in Kansas in the US known for picketing funerals with signs reading “God Hates Fags”.[87] During a live radio current affairs program in which Topiary debated church member Shirley Phelps-Roper, Anons hacked one of the organization’s websites.[88] After the church announced its intentions in December 2012 to picket the funerals of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims, Anons published the names, phone numbers, and e-mail and home addresses of church members and brought down with a DDoS attack.[89] Hacktivists also circulated petitions to have the church’s tax-exempt status investigated.[90] In August 2012, Anons hacked the site of Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi in retaliation for the Parliament of Uganda‘s consideration of an anti-homosexuality law permitting capital punishment.[91]

In April 2011, Anons launched a series of attacks against Sony in retaliation for trying to stop hacks of the PlayStation 3 game console. More than 100 million Sony accounts were compromised, and the Sony services Qriocity and PlayStation Network were taken down for a month apiece by cyberattacks.[92]

Anonymous protestors at theBrussels Stock Exchange, Belgium, January 2012
When the Occupy Wall Street protests began in New York City in September 2011, Anons were early participants and helped spread the movement to other cities such as Boston.[14] In October, Anons attacked the website of the New York Stock Exchange while other Anons publicly opposed the action via Twitter.[93] Anonymous also helped organize an Occupy protest outside the London Stock Exchange on May 1, 2012.[94]

Anons launched Operation Darknet in October 2011, targeting websites hosting child pornography. Most notably, the group hacked a child pornography site called “Lolita City”, releasing 1,589 usernames from the site. Anons also stated that they had disabled forty image-swapping pedophile websites that employed the anonymity network Tor.[95] In 2012, Anons leaked the names of users of a suspected child pornography site in OpDarknetV2.[96]

In 2011 the Koch Industries website was attacked by following their attack upon union members, the result being their website could not be accessed for 15 minutes. In 2013 one member, a 38-year-old truck driver pleaded guilty when accused of participating in the attack for a period of one minute, and received a sentence of two years federal probation, and ordered to pay $183,000 restitution, the amount Koch stated they paid a consultancy organisation, despite this being only a denial of service attack.[97]

On January 19, 2012, the US Department of Justice shut down the file-sharing site Megaupload on allegations of copyright piracy. Anons responded with a wave of DDoS attacks on US government and copyright organizations, shutting down the sites for the RIAA, MPAA, Broadcast Music, Inc., and the FBI.[98]

In 2012, Anonymous launched Operation Anti-Bully: Operation Hunt Hunter in retaliation to Hunter Moore’s revenge porn site, “Is Anyone Up?” Anonymous crashed Moore’s servers and publicized much of his personal information online, including his social security number. The organization also published the personal information of Andrew Myers, the proprietor of “Is Anyone Back,” a copycat site of Mr. Moore’s Is Anyone Up.[99]

In response to Operation Pillar of Defense, a November 2012 Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip, Anons took down hundreds of Israeli websites with DDoS attacks.[100] Anons pledged another “massive cyberassault” against Israel in April 2013 in retaliation for its actions in Gaza, promising to “wipe Israel off the map of the Internet”.[101][102] However, its DDoS attacks caused only temporary disruptions, leading cyberwarfare experts to suggest that the group had been unable to recruit or hire botnet operators for the attack.[103][104]

On 5 November 2013, Anonymous protesters gathered around the world for the Million Mask March, Demonstrations were held in 400 cities [1] around the world including Washington D.C.,LondonRio De Janeiro and Tokyo to coincide with Guy Fawkes night.[105]

2013–present#OpOk (2013)Operation Oklahoma was a Mutual Aid effort responding to the 2013 flash floods and wind storms in the United States.

Operation Safe Winter (2013–present)Operation Safe Winter was an effort to raise awareness about life on the street through the collection, collation and redistribution of resources which began on November 7, 2013[106] after an online call to action from Anonymous UK. 3 Missions using a charity framework were suggested in the original global spawning a variety of direct actions from used clothing drives to pitch in community potlucks feeding events in the UK, US & Turkey. [107]

The #OpSafeWinter call to action quickly spread through the Mutual Aid communities like Occupy Wall Street[108] and its off shoot groups like the Open Source Based OccuWeather. [109]With the addition of the long term mutual aid communities of New York City and online hacktivists in the US it took on an additional 3 suggested missions.[110] Encouraging participation from the general public this Operation has raised questions of privacy and the changing nature of the Anonymous community’s use of monikers. The project to support those living on the streets while causing division in its own online network has been able to partner with many efforts and organizations not traditionally associated with Anonymous or online activists.

Related groupsLulzSecMain article: LulzSec
In May 2011, the small group of Anons behind the HBGary Federal hack—including Tflow, Topiary, Sabu, and Kayla—formed the hacker group “Lulz Security”, commonly abbreviated “LulzSec”. The group’s first attack was against, leaking several passwords, LinkedIn profiles, and the names of 73,000 X Factor contestants. In May 2011, members of Lulz Security gained international attention for hacking into the American Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) website. They stole user data and posted a fake story on the site which claimed that rappersTupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls were still alive and living in New Zealand.[111] LulzSec stated that some of its hacks, including its attack on PBS, were motivated by a desire to defend WikiLeaks and its informant Chelsea Manning.[112]

In June 2012, members of the group claimed responsibility for an attack against Sony Pictures that took data that included “names, passwords, e-mail addresses, home addresses and dates of birth for thousands of people.”[113] In early June, LulzSec hacked into and stole user information from the pornography website They obtained and published around 26,000 e-mail addresses and passwords.[114] On July 14, 2012, LulzSec took down four websites by request of fans as part of their “Titanic Take-down Tuesday”. These websites were Minecraft,League of LegendsThe Escapist, and IT security company FinFisher.[115] They also attacked the login servers of the massively multiplayer online game EVE Online, which also disabled the game’s front-facing website, and the League of Legends login servers. Most of the takedowns were performed with distributed denial-of-service attacks.[116]

LulzSec also hacked a variety of government-affiliated sites, such as chapter sites of InfraGard, a non-profit organization affiliated with the FBI.[117] The group leaked some of InfraGard member e-mails and a database of local users.[118] On June 13, LulzSec released the e-mails and passwords of a number of users of, the website of the US Senate.[119] On June 15, LulzSec launched an attack on, the public website of the US Central Intelligence Agency, taking the website offline for several hours with a distributed denial-of-service attack.[120] On December 2, an offshoot of LulzSec calling itself LulzSec Portugal attacked several sites related to the government of Portugal. The websites for the Bank of Portugal, theAssembly of the Republic, and the Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Development all became unavailable for a few hours.[121]

On June 26, 2011, the core LulzSec group announced it had reached the end of its “50 days of lulz” and was ceasing operations.[122] Sabu, however, had already been secretly arrested on June 7 and then released to work as an FBI informant. His cooperation led to the arrests of Ryan Cleary, James Jeffery, and others.[123] Tflow was arrested on July 19, 2011,[124] Topiary was arrested on July 27,[125] and Kayla was arrested on March 6, 2012.[126] Topiary, Kayla, Tflow, and Cleary pled guilty in April 2013 and were scheduled be sentenced in May 2013.[127] In April 2013, Australian police arrested Cody Kretsinger, whom they alleged to be self-described LulzSec leader Aush0k.[128]

AntiSecMain article: Operation AntiSec
Beginning in June 2011, hackers from Anonymous and LulzSec collaborated on a series of cyber attacks known as “Operation AntiSec”. On June 23, in retaliation for the passage of the immigration enforcement bill Arizona SB 1070, LulzSec released a cache of documents from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, including the personal information and home addresses of many law enforcement officers.[129] On June 22, LulzSecBrazil took down the websites of the Government of Brazil and the President of Brazil.[130][131] Later data dumps included the names, addresses, phone numbers, internet passwords, and Social Security numbers of police officers in Arizona,[132] Missouri,[133] and Alabama.[134] Antisec members also stole police officer credit card information to make donations to various causes.[135]

On July 18, LulzSec hacked into and vandalized the website of British newspaper The Sun in response to a phone-hacking scandal.[136][137] Other targets of AntiSec actions have included FBI contractor ManTech International,[138] computer security firm Vanguard Defense Industries,[139] and defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, releasing 90,000 military e-mail accounts and their passwords from the latter.[140]

In December 2011, AntiSec member “sup_g” (alleged by the US government to be Jeremy Hammond) and others hacked Stratfor, a US-based intelligence company, vandalizing its web page and publishing 30,000 credit card numbers from its databases.[141] AntiSec later released millions of the group’s e-mails to Wikileaks.[142]

Arrests and trialsSince 2009, dozens of people have been arrested for involvement in Anonymous cyberattacks, in countries including the US, UK, Australia, the Netherlands, Spain, and Turkey.[143] Anons generally protest these prosecutions and describe these individuals as martyrs to the movement.[144] The July 2011 arrest of LulzSec member Topiary became a particular rallying point, leading to a widespread “Free Topiary” movement.[145]

The first person to be sent to jail for participation in an Anonymous DDoS attack was Dmitriy Guzner, an American nineteen-year-old. He pled guilty to “unauthorized impairment of a protected computer” in November 2009 and was sentenced to 366 days in US federal prison.[146][147]

On June 13, 2011, officials in Turkey arrested 32 individuals that were allegedly involved in DDoS attacks on Turkish government websites. These members of Anonymous were captured in different cities of Turkey including Istanbul and Ankara. According to PC Magazine, these individuals were arrested after they attacked these websites as a response to the Turkish government demand to ISPs to implement a system of filters that many have perceived as censorship.[148][149]

Chris Doyon (alias “Commander X”), a self-described leader of Anonymous, was arrested in September 2011 for a cyberattack on the website of Santa Cruz County, California.[150][151] He jumped bail in February 2012 and fled across the border into Canada.[151]

On September 2012, journalist and Anonymous associate Barrett Brown, known for speaking to media on behalf of the group, was arrested hours after posting a video that appeared to threaten FBI agents with physical violence. Brown was subsequently charged with 17 offenses, including publishing personal credit card information from the Stratfor hack.[152]

Operation Avenge AssangeSeveral law enforcement agencies took action after Anonymous’ Operation Avenge Assange.[153] In January 2011, the British police arrested five male suspects between the ages of 15 and 26 with suspicion of participating in Anonymous DDoS attacks.[154] During July 19–20, 2011, as many as 20 or more arrests were made of suspected Anonymous hackers in the US, UK, and Netherlands. According to the statements of US officials, suspects’ homes were raided and suspects were arrested in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Washington DC, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, and Ohio. Additionally, a 16-year-old boy was held by the police in south London on suspicion of breaching the Computer Misuse Act 1990, and four were held in the Netherlands.[155][156][157][158]

AnonOps admin Christopher Weatherhead (alias “Nerdo”), a 22-year-old who had reportedly been intimately involved in organising DDoS attacks during “Operation Payback”,[159] was convicted by a UK court on one count of conspiracy to impair the operation of computers in December 2012. He was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment. Ashley Rhodes, Peter Gibson, and another male had already pleaded guilty to the same charge for actions between August 2010 and January 2011.[159][160]

Analysis of groupEvaluations of Anonymous’ actions and effectiveness vary widely. In a widely shared post, blogger Patrick Gray wrote that private security firms “secretly love” the group for the way in which it publicizes cyber security threats.[161] Anonymous is sometimes stated to have changed the nature of protesting,[9][10] and in 2012, Time called it one of the “100 most influential people” in the world.[12]

In 2012, Public Radio International reported that the US National Security Agency considered Anonymous a potential national security threat and had warned the president that it could develop the capability to disable parts of the US power grid.[162] In contrast, CNN reported in the same year that “security industry experts generally don’t consider Anonymous a major player in the world of cybercrime” due the group’s reliance on DDoS attacks that briefly disabled websites rather than the more serious damage possible through hacking. One security consultant compared the group to “a jewelry thief that drives through a window, steal jewels, and rather than keep them, waves them around and tosses them out to a crowd … They’re very noisy, low-grade crimes.”[93] In its 2013 Threats Predictions report, McAfee wrote that the technical sophistication of Anonymous was in decline and that it was losing supporters due to “too many uncoordinated and unclear operations”.[163]

Graham Cluley, a security expert for Sophos, argued that Anonymous’ actions against child porn websites hosted on a darknet could be counterproductive, commenting that while their intentions appear beneficial, the removal of illegal websites and sharing networks should be performed by the authorities, rather than Internet vigilantes.[164] Some commentators also argued that the DDoS attacks by Anonymous following the January 2012 Stop Online Piracy Act protests had proved counterproductive. Molly Wood of CNET wrote that “[i]f the SOPA/PIPA protests were the Web’s moment of inspiring, non-violent, hand-holding civil disobedience, #OpMegaUpload feels like the unsettling wave of car-burning hooligans that sweep in and incite the riot portion of the play.”[165] Dwight Silverman of the Houston Chronicle concurred, stating that “Anonymous’ actions hurt the movement to kill SOPA/PIPA by highlighting online lawlessness.”[166]The Oxford Internet Institute‘s Joss Wright wrote that “In one sense the actions of Anonymous are themselves, anonymously and unaccountably, censoring websites in response to positions with which they disagree.”[167]

Gabriella Coleman has compared the group to the trickster archetype[168] and said that “they dramatize the importance of anonymity and privacy in an era when both are rapidly eroding. Given that vast databases track us, given the vast explosion of surveillance, there’s something enchanting, mesmerizing and at a minimum thought-provoking about Anonymous’ interventions”.[169] When asked what good Anonymous had done for the world, Parmy Olson replied:

In some cases, yes, I think it has in terms of some of the stuff they did in the Middle East supporting the pro-democracy demonstrators. But a lot of bad things too, unnecessarily harassing people — I would class that as a bad thing. DDOSing the CIA website, stealing customer data and posting it online just for shits and giggles is not a good thing.[21]

Quinn Norton of Wired wrote of the group in 2011:

I will confess up front that I love Anonymous, but not because I think they’re the heroes. Like Alan Moore’s character V who inspired Anonymous to adopt the Guy Fawkes mask as an icon and fashion item, you’re never quite sure if Anonymous is the hero or antihero. The trickster is attracted to change and the need for change, and that’s where Anonymous goes. But they are not your personal army – that’s Rule 44 – yes, there are rules. And when they do something, it never goes quite as planned. The internet has no neat endings.[168]

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Related Articles


  1. Jump up^ Topiary was later revealed to be Jake Davis, a teenager living in the Shetland Islands of Scotland.[32]
  2. Jump up^ A portmanteau of “hacking” and “activism”


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  32. Jump up^ “Two-year term for Shetland hacker”The Herald.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). May 17, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
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  37. Jump up^ Popkin, Helen A.S. (April 18, 2011). “Notorious NSFW website cleans up its act”Digital Life on MSNBC. Retrieved April 19, 2011.
  38. Jump up^ Everything Anonymous. (2013-04-20). Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  39. Jump up^ Leavitt, Alex (2011-04-15). “Archiving Internet Subculture: Encyclopedia Dramatica”Web Ecology Project. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  40. Jump up^ Stryker, Cole (2011). Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan’s Army Conquered the Web. New York, New York: Overlook Press. p. 155. ISBN 1-59020-738-6. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  41. Jump up^ “Cruise bio hits stores as video clip of actor praising Scientology makes it way to Internet”The Washington Post.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Associated Press. January 15, 2008. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  42. Jump up^ Tucker, Neely (January 18, 2008). “Tom Cruise’s Scary Movie; In Church Promo, the Scientologist Is Hard to Suppress”Washington Post.  – via HighBeam Research(subscription required). Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  43. Jump up^ Olson 2012, pp. 63–65.
  44. Jump up^ “Fair game; Scientology”The Economist.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). February 2, 2008. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  45. Jump up^ Olson 2012, pp. 71–72, 122, 124, 126–29.
  46. Jump up^ Olson 2012, p. 206.
  47. Jump up^ Norton, Quinn (December 30, 2011). “Anonymous 101 Part Deux: Morals Triumph Over Lulz”WiredArchivedfrom the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  48. Jump up^ Olson 2012, pp. 71–72.
  49. Jump up to:a b George-Cosh, David (January 25, 2008). “Online group declares war on Scientology”National Post. Archived from the original on January 28, 2008. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
  50. Jump up^ “Scientology faces wave of cyber attacks”Cape Times.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). March 4, 2008. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  51. Jump up^ Olson 2012, p. 82–3.
  52. Jump up^ DeSio, John (May 6, 2008). “Queens Anonymous Member Gets a Letter from Scientologists”The Village Voice.Archived from the original on May 2, 2013. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  53. Jump up^ Ramadge, Andrew (March 20, 2008). “Scientology site gets a facelift after protests”. Archivedfrom the original on May 2, 2013. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  54. Jump up^ Howarth, Mark (June 1, 2008). “Anger as police ban placards branding Scientology a cult”Sunday Herald.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  55. Jump up^ Olson 2012, p. 85.
  56. Jump up^ Olson 2012, p. 93–94.
  57. Jump up to:a b Olson 2012, p. 102.
  58. Jump up^ “Activists target recording industry websites”. BBC News. September 20, 2010. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
  59. Jump up^ Olson 2012, p. 103.
  60. Jump up^ Olson 2012, p. 104.
  61. Jump up^ Tsotsis, Alexia (19 September 2010). “RIAA Goes Offline, Joins MPAA As Latest Victim Of Successful DDoS Attacks”. TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 3 May 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  62. Jump up^ Olson 2012, p. 105.
  63. Jump up^ Williams, Chris (September 22, 2010). “Piracy threats lawyer mocks 4chan DDoS attack”The Register. Retrieved October 22, 2010.
  64. Jump up^ Winterford, Brett (September 28, 2010). “Operation Payback directs DDoS attack at AFACT”iTnews. Retrieved December 23, 2010.
  65. Jump up^ Leydon, John (October 4, 2010). “Ministry of Sound floored by Anonymous”The Register. Retrieved October 22, 2010.
  66. Jump up^ Leyden, John (October 7, 2010). “Spanish entertainment industry feels wrath of Anonymous”. The Register. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  67. Jump up^ Sandoval, Greg (November 9, 2010). “FBI probes 4chan’s ‘Anonymous’ DDoS attacks” Retrieved December 23, 2010.
  68. Jump up to:a b Corrons, Luis (September 17, 2010). “4chan Users Organize Surgical Strike Against MPAA”Pandalabs Security. Retrieved October 22, 2010.
  69. Jump up^ “Anonymous hacktivists say Wikileaks war to continue”. BBC News. December 9, 2010. Archivedfrom the original on May 3, 2013. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
  70. Jump up^ Olson 2012, p. 110.
  71. Jump up^ Olson 2012, pp. 110–11.
  72. Jump up^ Olson 2012, pp. 115–18.
  73. Jump up^ Olson 2012, p. 117.
  74. Jump up^ Maslin, Janet (May 31, 2012). “The Secret Lives of Dangerous Hackers”The New York TimesArchivedfrom the original on May 3, 2013. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
  75. Jump up^ Olson 2012, pp. 117–19.
  76. Jump up^ Addley, Esther and Halliday, Josh (December 8, 2012).“WikiLeaks supporters disrupt Visa and MasterCard sites in ‘Operation Payback'”The GuardianArchived from the original on May 3, 2013. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
  77. Jump up^ Olson 2012, p. 178.
  78. Jump up^ Olson 2012, pp. 122, 129.
  79. Jump up^ Steven Musil (December 8, 2013). “Anonymous hackers plead guilty to 2010 PayPal cyberattack”. Cnet.
  80. Jump up^ Olson 2012, pp. 141–45.
  81. Jump up to:a b Ryan, Yasmine (May 19, 2011). “Anonymous and the Arab uprisings”. Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  82. Jump up^ Olson 2012, p. 148.
  83. Jump up^ Olson 2012, pp. 10–24.
  84. Jump up^ Olson 2012, p. 200.
  85. Jump up^ Olson 2012, pp. 161, 164.
  86. Jump up^ Olson 2012, p. 164.
  87. Jump up^ Olson 2012, pp. 176–77.
  88. Jump up^ Olson 2012, pp. 178–88.
  89. Jump up^ “Anonymous vows to ‘destroy’ Westboro Baptist Church over Sandy Hook picket plans”. The Raw Story. December 17, 2012. Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  90. Jump up^ “Hacktivists strike Westboro Baptist Church over Newtown tragedy”. RT. December 17, 2012. Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  91. Jump up^ “Uganda prime minister hacked ‘over gay rights'”. BBC News. August 16, 2012. Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  92. Jump up^ “Sony caught up in cyber war with indignant hackers: ; Company with security once considered ‘robust’ now dealing with constant breaches”Charleston Daily Mail.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Associated Press. May 30, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  93. Jump up to:a b Goldman, David (January 20, 2012). “Hacker group Anonymous is a nuisance, not a threat”. CNN. Archivedfrom the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  94. Jump up^ Malik, Shiv (May 1, 2012). “Occupy movement takes over parts of London Stock Exchange”The Guardian.Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  95. Jump up^ Hernandez, Vittorio (October 5, 2012). “93-Year-Old Australian Faces Pedophilia Charges in Thailand”.International Business TimesArchived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  96. Jump up^ Liebowitz, Matt (May 15, 2012). “Anonymous Attacks Suspected Pedophiles Again”. NBC News. Archivedfrom the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  97. Jump up^ Plumlee, Rick (2013-12-02). “Wis. truck driver given 2 years probation for cyberattack on Koch Industries | Wichita Eagle”. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
  98. Jump up^ “Internet strikes back: Anonymous’ Operation Megaupload explained”RT. January 20, 2012. Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  99. Jump up^ Roy, Jessica (2012-12-04). “Anonymous Hunts Revenge Porn Purveyor Hunter Moore”. Betabeat. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
  100. Jump up^ Chan, Casey (November 16, 2012). “Anonymous Targets Israel by Taking Down Hundreds of Websites and Leaking Emails and Passwords”. Gizmodo. Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  101. Jump up^ Kershner, Isabel (April 7, 2013). “Israel Says It Repelled Most Attacks on Its Web Sites by Pro-Palestinian Hackers”The New York TimesArchived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  102. Jump up^ Yaron, Oded; Cohen, Gili (April 8, 2013). “Hackers target Haaretz’s Hebrew website in cyber attack”Haaretz.Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  103. Jump up^ Gonsalves, Antone (May 3, 2013). “Experts hope for another failure in next Anonymous attack”. CSO Online.Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  104. Jump up^ Messmer, Ellen (May 5, 2013). “Anonymous cyberattack on Israel finds disputed impact”ComputerWorld.Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  105. Jump up^ “Protesters gather around the world for Million Mask March”The Guardian. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  106. Jump up^
  107. Jump up^
  108. Jump up^
  109. Jump up^
  110. Jump up^
  111. Jump up^ CNN Wire Staff. “Hackers pirate PBS website, post fake story about Tupac still alive”. CNN. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  112. Jump up^ Olson, Parmy (May 31, 2011). “Interview With PBS Hackers: We Did It For ‘Lulz And Justice'”Forbes. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  113. Jump up^ Pepitone, Julianne (June 2, 2011). “Group claims fresh hack of 1 million Sony accounts Money”. CNN. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
  114. Jump up^ Thomas, Keir (June 11, 2012). “Porn Site Users Beware: Hacker Group LulzSec May Have Posted Your Email Address”PC World. Archived from the original on June 11, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  115. Jump up^ Bright, Peter (June 14, 2011). “Titanic Takeover Tuesday: LulzSec’s busy day of hacking escapades”Ars Technica. Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
  116. Jump up^ Peckham, Matt (June 14, 2011). “LulzSec Knocks ‘Minecraft,’ ‘EVE Online,’ ‘League Of Legends’ and ‘The Escapist’ Offline”Time (New York City). Archived fromthe original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
  117. Jump up^ Morse, Andrew; Sherr, Ian (June 6, 2011). “For Some Hackers, The Goal Is Just To Play A Prank”The Wall Street Journal. p. B1. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  118. Jump up^ “LulzSec claims to have hacked FBI-affiliated website”.LA Times. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
  119. Jump up^ Ogg, Erica (June 13, 2012). “LulzSec targets videogame maker ZeniMax Media”CNET.comCBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 13, 2012. Retrieved June 13, 2011.
  120. Jump up^ “CIA website hacked; LulzSec takes credit (again)”.Consumer Reports. June 16, 2012. Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
  121. Jump up^ “Hackers voltam a atacar sites portugueses”TVI 24 (in Portuguese). Televisão Independente. December 2, 2012. Archived from the original on December 3, 2011. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  122. Jump up^ Weisenthal, Joe (June 25, 2011). “Notorious Hacker Group LulzSec Just Announced That It’s Finished”Business Insider. Silicon Alley Insider. Archived from the original on June 25, 2011. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
  123. Jump up^ Thomson, Iain. “LulzSec sneak Sabu buys six more months of freedom.” The Register. August 23, 2012.
  124. Jump up^ Kaplan, Jeremy (July 19, 2011). “Leading Member of LulzSec Hacker Squad Arrested in London”Fox News Channel (New York City). Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  125. Jump up^ “Man arrested over computer hacking claims”BBC News (London). BBC. July 27, 2011. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  126. Jump up^ Winter, Jana (March 6, 2012). “Infamous international hacking group LulzSec brought down by own leader”Fox News Channel (New York City). Archived from the originalon March 13, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
  127. Jump up^ “Kretsinger, Sony hacker Recursion, jailed for year”. BBC News. April 19, 2013. Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  128. Jump up^ Siegel, Matt (April 24, 2013). “Australia Arrests the Professed Head of LulzSec, Which Claims a C.I.A. Hacking”The New York TimesArchived from the original on May 6, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  129. Jump up^ Tsotsis, Alexia (June 23, 2011). “LulzSec Releases Arizona Law Enforcement Data In Retaliation For Immigration Law”TechCrunch. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
  130. Jump up^ Emery, Daniel (June 22, 2011). “LulzSec hits Brazilian websites”BBC. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  131. Jump up^ Clark, Jack (June 22, 2011). “LulzSec takes down Brazil government sites”CNet. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  132. Jump up^ Albanesius, Chloe (June 29, 2011). “LulzBoat Sails On: Anonymous Dumps More Arizona Data”PC Magazine.Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on July 5, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
  133. Jump up^ Usigan, Ysolt (August 3, 2011). “Online security breach! Hackers leak social security numbers of cops in Missouri”CBS News (New York City). CBS. Archived from the original on August 5, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  134. Jump up^ Kelly, Meghan (October 21, 2011). “Anonymous releases private police information in name of Occupy Wall Street”.VentureBeat. Archived from the original on October 22, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  135. Jump up^ Mills, Elinor (August 6, 2011). “AntiSec hackers post stolen police data as revenge for arrests”CNETCBS Interactive. Archived from the original on August 6, 2011. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
  136. Jump up^ Gayomail, Chris (July 18, 2011). “LulzSec Hacks ‘News of the World’ and ‘The Sun,’ Plants Fake Murdoch Death Story”Time (New York City). Time Inc. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  137. Jump up^ Rovzar, Chris (July 18, 2011). “Website of Murdoch’s Sun Hacked”New York Magazine (New York City). New York Media Holdings. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  138. Jump up^ Hachman, Mark (July 29, 2011). “Anonymous Publishes Internal Documents from Govt. Contractor ManTech”PC MagazineZiff Davis. Archived from the original on July 29, 2011. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  139. Jump up^ Ragan, Steve (August 16, 2011). “Vanguard Defense Industries compromised by AntiSec”The Tech Herald. p. 1. Archived from the original on August 18, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  140. Jump up^ Gerwirtz, David (July 11, 2011). “Military Meltdown Monday: 90,000 military email profiles released by AntiSec”ZDNetCBS Interactive. Archived from the original on July 12, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  141. Jump up^ Gallagher, Sean (March 6, 2012). “Inside the hacking of Stratfor: the FBI’s case against Antisec member Anarchaos”. Ars technica. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  142. Jump up^ Ronson, Jon (May 3, 2013). “Security alert: notes from the frontline of the war in cyberspace”The Guardian.Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  143. Jump up^ Olson 2012, p. 355.
  144. Jump up^ Olson 2012, p. 356.
  145. Jump up^ Munro, Alistair (June 26, 2012). “Scots hacker admits breaking into the CIA”The Scotsman.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  146. Jump up^ “Verona man admits role in attack on Church of Scientology’s websites”The Star-Ledger. November 16, 2009. Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  147. Jump up^ Olson 2012, p. 89.
  148. Jump up^ Albanesius, Chloe (June 13, 2011). “Turkey Arrests 32 ‘Anonymous’ Members & Opinion”. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  149. Jump up^ “Detienen en Turquía a 32 presuntos miembros de ‘Anonymous’ – Noticias de Europa – Mundo”. Eltiempo.Com. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  150. Jump up^ Elinor Mills (September 23, 2011). “Alleged ‘Commander X’ Anonymous hacker pleads not guilty”. Cnet. Archivedfrom the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  151. Jump up to:a b Nate Anderson (December 11, 2012). “Anon on the run: How Commander X jumped bail and fled to Canada”. Ars Technica. Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  152. Jump up^ Gallagher, Ryan (March 20, 2013). “How Barrett Brown went from Anonymous’s PR to federal target”The GuardianArchived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  153. Jump up^ “Anonymous attacks PayPal in ‘Operation Avenge Assange'”The Register. December 6, 2010.
  154. Jump up^ “UK police arrest WikiLeaks backers for cyber attacks”. Reuters. January 27, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  155. Jump up^ “Police arrest ‘hackers’ in US, UK, Netherlands”. BBC. July 19, 2011. Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  156. Jump up^ Greenberg, Andy (July 19, 2011). “Fourteen Anonymous Hackers Arrested For “Operation Avenge Assange,” LulzSec Leader Claims He’s Not Affected – Forbes”Forbes. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  157. Jump up^ “‘Anonymous’ hackers arrested in US sweep”Herald Sun. Australia. July 20, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  158. Jump up^ “16 Suspected ‘Anonymous’ Hackers Arrested In Nationwide Sweep”. Fox News Channel. April 7, 2010.Archived from the original on July 29, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  159. Jump up to:a b Halliday, Josh (January 24, 2013). “Anonymous hackers jailed for cyber attacks”The Guardian. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  160. Jump up^ Leyden, John (December 14, 2012). “UK cops: How we sniffed out convicted AnonOps admin ‘Nerdo'”The RegisterArchived from the original on April 19, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  161. Jump up^ Olson 2012, pp. 309–310.
  162. Jump up^ “National Security Agency calls hacktivist group ‘Anonymous’ a threat to national security”. Public Radio International. February 27, 2012. Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  163. Jump up^ “2013 Threats Predictions” (PDF). McAfee. Archivedfrom the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  164. Jump up^ Leyden, John (October 24, 2011). “Anonymous shuts down hidden child abuse hub”The Register. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
  165. Jump up^ Wood, Molly (January 19, 2012). “Anonymous goes nuclear; everybody loses?”. CNET. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  166. Jump up^ Jonsson, Patrik (January 21, 2012). “SOPA: Feds go after Megaupload as Congress reviews anti-piracy bills”The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
  167. Jump up^ Kelion, Leo (January 20, 2012). “Hackers retaliate over Megaupload website shutdown”. BBC News. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  168. Jump up to:a b Norton, Quinn (November 8, 2011). “Anonymous 101: Introduction to the Lulz”WiredArchived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  169. Jump up^ Walters, Helen (June 27, 2012). “Peeking behind the curtain at Anonymous: Gabriella Coleman at TEDGlobal 2012”. TED. Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.


External linksFind more about Anonymous (group)at Wikipedia’s sister projectsMedia from CommonsQuotations from WikiquoteSource texts from WikisourceActivist websites used by Anonymous

News coverage


here’s to the kids. the kids who would rather spend their night with a bottle of coke and Patrick or Sonny playing on their headphones than go to some vomit-stained high school party. here’s to the kids whose 11:11 wish was wasted on one person who will never be there for them. here’s to the kids whose idea of a good night is sitting on the hood of a car, watching the stars. here’s to the kids who were never too good at life, but still were wicked cool. here’s to the kids who listened to Fall Out Boy and Hawthorne Heights before they were on MTV and blame MTV for ruining their life. here’s to the kids who care more about the music than the haircuts. here’s to the kids who have crushes on a stupid lush. here’s to the kids who hum “a little less 16 candles, a little more touch me” when they’re stuck home, dateless, on a Saturday night. here’s to the kids who have ever had a broken heart from someone who didn’t even know they existed. here’s to the kids who have read The Perks of Being a Wallflower and didn’t feel so alone after doing so. here’s to the kids who spend their days in photobooths with their best friends. here’s to the kids who are straight up smartasses and just don’t care. here’s to the kids who speak their mind. here’s to the kids who consider screamo their lullaby for going to sleep. here’s to the kids who second guess themselves on everything they do. here’s to the kids who will never have 100 percent confidence in anything they do, and to the kids that are okay with that. here’s to the kids. this one’s not for the kids who always get what they want, but for the ones who never had it at all. it’s not for the ones who never get caught, but for the ones who always try and fail. this one’s for the kids who didn’t make it, we were the kids who never made it. the overcast girls and the underdog boys. not for the kids who had all their joys. this one’s for the kids who never faked it. we’re the kids who didn’t make it. they say “breaking hearts is what we do best,” and “we’ll make your heart be ripped out of your chest.” the only heart that i broke was mine, when i got my hopes up too high. we were the kids who didn’t make it. we are the kids
who never made it. — Pete Wentz