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Former prominent Anonymous member arrested


Anonymous is a loosely organized international network of online activists suspected of the coordinated computer hacking of institutions, multinationals and government organizations around the globe.



Update (5:55 PM): Barrett Brown has been charged with threatening a federal officer and is being held without bail according to a close friend in contact with his attorney and family.

Update (1:08 PM): In retaliation for Brown's arrest, hackers have released credit card information belonging to 13 US government employees along with phone numbers and addresses. The government employees targeted are associated with email addresses from the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, US Navy, US Air Force and US Army.

"Lulz. Barrett Brown, our controversial hated/loved friend (doesnt matter what kind of shits he does, he's still one of us) seems to have been v&'d...again. XD (you can look forward and find that splendid video of him being raided at mashable or youtube.) hhahahaha. then try to come and convince us that FBI is not mad as hell at us," read a pastebin post tweeted by @AnonymousIRC.

Brown has been moved to federal court and is scheduled for an arraignment later this afternoon.  

Law enforcement officers arrested Barrett Brown late Wednesday night in a raid on his residence in Dallas, Texas.

Brown is the founder of Project PM and has worked closely with the Anonymous hacker collective on several past operations. The raid on his residence was partially documented by his webcam that was active in a video chat when law enforcement officials entered the room. 

In the video, screaming and other loud noises are heard before a woman that was sitting next to Brown covered the webcam, blacking out the feed of the room. 

More from GlobalPost: Latest LulzSec hacker arrested in US

Brown released three videos earlier on Wednesday where he detailed his grievances with the FBI concerning a raid on his residence last March in which his computer equipment was seized. In the video, Brown gave an ultimatum to the FBI where he demanded an apology from FBI Agent Robert Smith and the return of his equipment. Claiming that his mother had been threatened with obstruction of charges and obviously upset, Brown in turn threatened Agent Smith in the video. 

“That’s why Robert Smith’s life is over. When I say his life is over, I don’t say I’m going to go kill him but I am going to ruin his life and look into his fucking kids,” said Brown in a YouTube video

Brown’s close friends stated that a hearing was scheduled for him on Thursday morning and that his lawyer had been notified of the arrest. They also expressed puzzlement over his video threatening FBI Agent Robert Smith, speculating that there could be a connection with the release of the video and the raid on his residence several hours later. 

Brown’s booking record indicates that he has yet to be charged and is “in transit” as of Thursday morning. 

Brown had remained relatively inactive within Anonymous after several operations launched in support of uprisings in the Arab World last year. However, Brown launched Operation New York Times last week, becoming active again after a hiatus. In the operation, Brown released personal email correspondence with New York Times’ staff members for the “failure of the press” to give adequate coverage to Trapwire, what some say is a global system of surveillance run by the US government.

More from GlobalPost: Anonymous targets the New York Times

“Some of the hits and misses I’ve seen, it’s terrible. It’s the complete failure of the press,” Brown told GlobalPost last week. 

Brown has also stated his intention to release correspondence from other news organizations in an effort to expose the press’ failure to report accurately on TrapWire. He will release the third and final collection of emails from the New York Times late Tuesday, according to his Twitter feed.

“I’ve got tons (of emails) from every publication in the world,” Brown said.

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