Westboro Baptist Church Nixes Aaron Swartz Funeral Protest Amid Anonymous Threat

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The Westboro Baptist Church has abandoned plans to picket Aaron Swartz's funeral after Anonymous threatened to stand in the way of any such effort.

Upon the tragic suicide of the Reddit co-founder and Internet activist, WBC members announced plans to picket the event (as they are known to do).

Swartz Funeral

However, when hacktivist group Anonymous and supporters showed up to block the WBC's picket line, the so-called "religious" group was not present.

A crowd showed up Tuesday at the funeral home in Highland Park, Ill., willing to stand in the way of WBC members to prevent them from getting close.

However, according to a tweet from Anonymous Twitter account @YourAnonNews, the WBC's lawyer contacted police to say WBC would not be there.

That wasn't what they were trumpeting just 48 hours prior.

Westboro Baptist Church on Sunday announced plans to protest Swarz's open funeral in a press release titled "GOD H8S Cyber Criminal THUGS."

”Cyber criminals are the latest face of this nation's and this world's raging at God and His Servants at WBC," reads the Westboro press release.

“Now the gloves are off, cyber rebels! ... We will picket the funeral, the LORD willing, so that in that Great Day of His Wrath, your blood is not on our hands."

In response, a video from an Anonymous-controlled YouTube account vowed that it would block any attempt by Westboro to picket Swartz's funeral:

"Before discussing the operation, there is something that needs to be said to Aaron's family and his friends: We're sorry," says the Anonymous statement.

"It is likely that our continuous condemnation and attacks against this cult is the very reason Aaron is being targeted by them. We would do anything to stop them."

"Aaron deserves peace and we will not allow this cult to overpower what should be the media's focus, the monsters at DOJ who ruthlessly targeted your son."

Swartz committed suicide in New York City on January 11. In July 2011, the 26-year-old was charged with felony hacking; he pleaded not guilty.

This is not the first time Anonymous and the WBC have tangled.

In December, after the WBC threatened to picket funerals of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting victims, Anonymous responded with a vengeance.

Anonymous hacked Westboro, taking over its Twitter, releasing member info and trolling spokeswoman Shirley Phelps-Roper relentlessly in particular.

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