The hacker group Anonymous on Monday declared war against the city of Orlando, Florida, over the arrest of people handing out food to homeless people, according to a report in The Washington Post.
In a press release, the group announced the creation of "Operation Orlando" over the city's treatment of the Food Not Bombs group.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that what started as a spat over distributing food without a permit in a park had escalated, with Mayor Buddy Dyer describing the activists charged with the misdemeanor offense as "food terrorists."Anonymous seizes Tunisian government site
More from TODAY.com
Taylor Swift celebrates pal's birthday with star-studded girls' night
Maybe she uses an extra-long selfie stick. How else does Taylor Swift always manage to squeeze all of her besties into a s...
- Prince's junior high basketball photo is awesome
- Somehow the always-youthful Ralph Macchio is already an empty nester
- Watch the viral video that reminds us ‘love has no labels’
- What fan fave is joining Liam Hemsworth for 'Independence Day' sequel?
- Taylor Swift celebrates pal's birthday with star-studded girls' night
This prompted one member, Ben Markeson, to threaten to file a defamation suit, the Sentinel reported.
The Anonymous press release said the city had "ignored our warnings, and our generous offer of a cease fire."
'Human rights abusers'
"On Wednesday last you not only arrested two more people for feeding but you arrested the worldwide President of Food Not Bombs Keith McHenry. This is a declaration of war," it said.
"Henceforth there will be no more cease fires, no more attempts to get you to resolve this issue with human decency. We will now treat you like the human rights abusers that you are," it added.Video: 'Anonymous' hackers have their say (on this page)
Anonymous said it would start "a massive campaign" against Orlando and "city web assets."
It said it would send emails to millions of people in 50 countries asking them to boycott the city.Story: PBS website hacked again, some data taken
Anonymous said it would remove www.orlandofloridaguide.com from the internet at 10 a.m. ET Tuesday until 6 p.m. ET.
It also said it would also target the owners of this site, identified as "Utopia, Inc" rather than the city itself.Story: Hacker group LulzSec says it's done
Anonymous said the owner of the site could have it removed from the "target list" by "releasing a statement to the press in support of Food Not Bombs and calling on the City of Orlando to stop the arrests."
© 2013 msnbc.com Reprints