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Twitter restores Anonymous account as Operation Westboro continues

A Twitter account associated with the Anonymous hacking collective has returned to the web after being suspended earlier in the week.

"Yes, we were suspended but that is yesterdays news. Let's move on," @YourAnonNews tweeted yesterday.

A Twitter spokesman declined to comment on why the account was yanked.

"We don't comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons," he said.

Anonymous, however, has been supporting an online campaign against the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) after the group pledged to protest the funerals of those killed in a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

Before the account was pulled, @YourAnonNews warned: "To #anons working on #OpWBC. Be gentleman. Don't post private 'googleable' information on twitter, especially on #YAN. You'll get suspended."

Anonymous produced a video message yesterday (see below), which again warned the WBC not to protest the funerals.

"You were in our cross hairs last year, didn't you learn from your mistakes and bad judgments?" Anonymous said.

"We ask you nicely to stand down and cancel the picketing. We advise you all to take this seriously. This is not a threat, this is a promise! Operation Westboro Baptist Church engaged," it added.

Earlier this week, a young hacker known as Cosmo - the same person who hacked Wired reporter Mat Honan earlier in the year - successfully took over the Twitter accounts of Shirley Phelps and Fred Phelps Jr, who are members of the WBC.

The @WBCFredJr account is currently suspended, but a screen grab posted online said that Cosmo used the account to tweet RIP messages to the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.

The @DearShirley account is live and apparently still under the control of Cosmo. The last tweet to the account, on 18 December, is a link to a White House petition that would designate WBC as a hate group. The feed's background is also an image of Connecticut with "Pray for Newtown" written on.

"#UGNazi hacker @CosmoTheGod does Round 2 on #WBC: @WBCFredJr's twitter account has been hijacked. #YAN #OpWBC #OpWestboro," @YourAnonNews tweeted yesterday. is Cosmo's website, but it currently displays a note that says it has "been removed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with law enforcement action."

Anonymous posted a list of all Twitter accounts associated with WBC on Pastebin.

Anonymous is currently supporting the #OpWBC effort on its feed, which is encouraging people to donate to causes opposed by the church. The group is also asking for details of the church's whereabouts in order to organise a silent blockade of any efforts to protest funerals for the victims of the Newtown shooting.

"If you have a fix on WBC's location or other vital information post to #WBCLeaks. Everything else goes to #OpWBC or #OpWestboro. Thanks," the group said.