Anonymous declare 'total war' on Donald Trump

An Anonymous spokesperson and Donald Trump (YouTube/Anonymous/AAP)
An Anonymous spokesperson and Donald Trump (YouTube/Anonymous/AAP)

Online activists Anonymous, fresh off declaring war on Islamic State, have set their sights on a new target -- US presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

The group hopes to take many of the business magnate's websites offline on April 1, as well as uncover and release "what he doesn't want the public to know".

In a video posted to YouTube, a man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask holds a few sheets of paper and gesticulates, while an apocalyptic instrumental track builds beneath a voice calling for "total war" against the Republican frontrunner.

"Dear Donald Trump: we have been watching you for a long time, and what we see is deeply disturbing," the voice intones.

"Your inconsistent and hateful campaign has not only shocked the United States of America, you have shocked the entire planet with your appalling actions and ideas. You say what your current audience wants to hear, but in reality you don't stand for anything except for your personal greed and power.

"This is a call to arms. This is a call to the freedom fighters, to the forgotten, to the censored, to our fellow hacktivists throughout the world. This is a call to protect our future, our freedom and our very way of life."

The diatribe is intercut with clips of Mr Trump mocking the disabled, calling Mexicans "rapists", promising to sue a Spanish-language TV station, claiming a Fox News presenter had "blood coming out of her wherever", and discussing the possibility of dating his own daughter.

"Research and expose what he doesn't want the public to know. We need you dismantle his campaign and sabotage his brand," the voice demands.

"This is not a warning -- this is a declaration of total war."

Mr Trump isn't the only presidential candidate at odds with the group. An Anonymous Twitter account with 318,000 followers tweeted earlier today: "A vote today for Hillary Clinton is a vote for endless, stupid war." It links to a Wikileaks page about the Democratic Party frontrunner.

Anonymous has no central leadership or formal structure, and anyone can upload material claiming it is from the group. The video does however include a number of motifs common to Anonymous videos, including the Guy Fawkes mask, a businessman with a question mark for a head and the Anonymous slogan: "We are Anonymous. We are legion."

Previous targets for hacktivists calling themselves Anonymous include Islamic State, NASA, the Ku Klux Klan, Sony, the Westboro Baptist Church, the FBI, Auckland's Roast Busters gang and the government of Uganda.