EXCLUSIVE: Hacker who took down WikiLeaks targets Edward Snowden

The Jester and Snowden

WASHINGTON, May 7, 2014 — In a soon to be released interview with Homeland Security Today, the widely regarded, enormously feared, and in some cases much despised hacktivist and computer vigilante known as The Jester (or by the individuals Twitter handle th3j35t3r) takes aim at cybersecurity issues of consequence, the implications on America’s counterterrorism efforts, and of course the much maligned former NSA defense contractor, Edward Snowden, now in hiding in Russia, who has reportedly been charged with espionage under the 1917 Espionage Act in the US.

He is known online as The Jester, but the hacker’s true identity remains hidden. The Jester claims he is a former U.S. soldier who served in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and others claim he worked as a defense contractor doing work with US Special Operations Command.

While the hacker’s identity remains unknown, his online exploits have become notorious. The Jester regularly takes Jihadist websites offline in order to disrupt the dissemination of violently anti-American activities and the coordination of terrorist activity.

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In 2010, the hacker turned his attention to WikiLeaks, an online group that publishes secret and classified information, including, most famously, years of documents relating to the U.S. war in Iraq. The Jester retaliated, knocking the website offline and accusing the organization of  “attempting to endanger the lives of our [US] troops.”

Admiral Mike Mullen, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also strongly condemned WikiLeaks in 2010, saying that WikiLeaks “might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier.”

In a wide-ranging interview by Homeland Security Today, The Jester spoke directly about his complaints regarding Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, stating, “Essentially, the puppet masters [behind Snowden and Bradley Manning] are Julian Assange [WikiLeaks co-founder] and his ‘organization.’

“To my mind, they represent the single biggest threat to our national security right now.”

Fundamentally, The Jester appears to take issue with the intent and overt nature of the purpose driving Snowden and WikiLeaks.

“They are clearly and actively seeking to ‘recruit’ US personnel for the purpose of revealing US secrets. At the very least, this is designed to undermine the US around the world,” explains The Jester.

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“At worst, it’s a direct attempt to obtain and exchange with enemy nations our sensitive information — information that could feasibly put US assets downrange at risk, or give other nations a tactical advantage or insight into our operations.”

While the tactics of The Jester, who claims to be a “hacktivist for the good,” remain debatable, the impact is evident. As Anthony Kimery, executive editor of Homeland Security Today, explains, “Whether you agree or disagree with The Jester’s actions, there’s no questioning the impact he’s had on terrorist organizations’ activities online.”

“But more than that, in this lengthy interview, The Jester offers pointed and profound observations regarding the cyber-capabilities of terrorist groups and cybersecurity and offensive cyber-warfare in general.”

The Jester publicizes each successful hack on Twitter by tweeting  – “TANGO DOWN” to his 56,000 followers.  It will be interesting to discover if The Jester’s comments will elicit a response from Snowden as well as his handlers, and or Assange and his colluding compatriots. Will they take the road of silent admonishment for fear of a Twitter post exclaiming “TANGO DOWN” (again) or will they counter The Jester’s claims and confront the questionable quagmire of their own creation? Time will tell.


Timothy W. Coleman is Editor-At-Large for Homeland Security Today.

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Timothy W. Coleman
Timothy W. Coleman is a writer, analyst, and a technophile. He co-founded two security technology startup firms, one of which was selected as Entrepreneur Magazine’s “100 Most Brilliant Companies.” Tim started off on Capitol Hill, worked on a successful U.S. Senate campaign, and subsequently joined a full-service, technology marketing communications firm. Previously, he was an intelligence analyst for a DC-based service providing global intelligence and forecasting from former CIA, U.S. intelligence and national security officers. Currently, he is the Editor-at-Large for Homeland Security Today. Tim completed his B.A. from Georgetown University, an M.B.A. in Finance from Barry University, a Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University at NASA Ames Research Center, and a Master’s of Public and International Affairs with a major in Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Tim volunteers and serves as a member of the board of directors at the Lint Center for National Security Studies. Read more about Tim here and follow him on Twitter @timothywcoleman.
  • is this a joke?

    jester hacktivist? more like VIRGIN.

  • The Jester sounds like a honeypot designed to detect and eliminate individuals with cyber capabilities (“hackers”) that match US intelligence agencies. From what I’ve seen so far, I highly doubt that it’s a single person. It acts more like an NSA unit.

  • TruthCop

    Yet doesn’t care about the threat to the population of the world that the US is spying on them?!
    This Jester is nothing more than the US government.

  • Neel Gupta

    Jester = NSA Pet

  • Samuel Sung

    Hussein Obama lied on June 28, 2012 when he claimed that Americans who already have health insurance would be able to keep it.