Hacktivist Group Anonymous Accuses U.S. Senators and Mayors of Ties to KKK
Anonymous has begun to make good on a promise it made last week to publish the names and phone numbers of individuals the "hacktivist" group claims are affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan or another white supremacist group.
Not included in the warnings: how high-profile many of the accused would be. They included U.S. Senator from Indiana Dan Coats – who has since denied the claims – as well as mayors of cities as large as Norfolk, Virginia and Lexington, Kentucky.
On Sunday and Monday, lists appeared on Pastebin, purportedly posted by the group, which include email addresses and phone numbers of alleged KKK members as well as a list of high-profile American politicians the group says have ties to racist groups.
The campaign, dubbed interchangeably as #hoodsoff and #OpKKK, names U.S. Senators and mayors of major U.S. cities, most of them from states in the South.
According to the group, the release is just the first of a massive info dump they claim will implicate around 1,000 people.
This allegation from the group Anonymous is false, insulting and ridiculous. I have never had any relationship of any kind with the KKK.— Mayor Jim Gray (@JimGrayLexKY) November 2, 2015
Despite the claims remaining unconfirmed Monday, many of the politicians quickly denied any connection to hate groups.
Among the politicians accused of being Klansmen was Lexington, Kentucky Mayor Jim Gray, who was among the first on the list to deny the apparent claim.
"This allegation from the group Anonymous is false, insulting and ridiculous. I have never had any relationship of any kind with the KKK," Gray tweeted on Monday morning.
The mayor of Norfolk, Virginia was also included on the list.
"The claim by Anonymous that I am in anyway affiliated or related to the KKK is absolutely false and defamatory. There is no truth to their statement whatsoever," wrote Paul Fraim on the city's website.
Claims that I have ties to the KKK are totally false and irresponsible. I’m proud to be the Mayor of the @CityofFortWayne (1/2)— Mayor Tom Henry (@MayorTomHenry) November 2, 2015
Perhaps the most well-known among the accused was also from Indiana. Senator Dan Coats was named in the post and responded on Facebook:
"For those who are asking - I have never had any affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan and deplore all forms of racial discrimination. This is baseless Internet garbage of the worst kind."
The phone numbers included along with email addresses in a separate Pastebin post rang endlessly or led to fax tones when called by INSIDE EDITION.