FBI Arrests Former Anonymous Member During Chat Session
September 14, 2012

Former Anonymous Spokesperson In FBI Custody After Raid, During Online Chat

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Barrett Brown, a former spokesman for the hacker group Anonymous, was arrested during an FBI raid on his home late Wednesday in Dallas, Texas, officials said on Thursday.

Carmen Castro, spokeswoman for the Dallas County Sheriff´s Office, said the raid took place shortly before 11 pm, and just hours after Brown had posted an online video threatening an FBI agent. Brown was turned over to FBI custody Thursday morning, Castro said.

The arrest occurred as Brown and a woman believed to be his girlfriend were participating in an online chat with others on TinyChat, Wired reported.

Two minutes into the recorded chat session, loud voices could be heard in the background of Brown´s Texas home. The woman in the room with Brown was standing before the computer as the raid began, but promptly closed the screen after events began to unfold. However, the audio continued to capture the raid, in which Brown could be heard yelling in the background as FBI agents seemingly forced him into handcuffs. A transcript of the online chat has been posted online.

Castro did not disclose details about the charges filed against Brown, but Jay Leiderman, Brown's attorney, said his client had been charged with making threats to a federal agent.

“They [the FBI] probably would have preferred to raid him when he was not online,” Leiderman told Wired, adding that the audio of the raid was “certainly less than flattering when they´re marching through these doors dropping F-bombs. I imagine they would not want to have that captured if they could help it.”

Brown´s arrest came just hours after he posted a 13-minute YouTube video entitled "Why I'm Going to Destroy FBI Agent Robert Smith Part Three: Revenge of the Lithe.”

In the video, Brown can be seen smoking, at times laughing, and becoming increasingly angry as he accuses FBI Agent Smith of harassment. Brown alleged in the video that his mother had become a surveillance target of the FBI, and had been threatened with charges of obstruction of justice over a laptop of Brown´s that he had apparently hidden.

"Robert Smith's life is over," Brown said on the video.

“When I say his life is over, I´m not saying I´m going to kill him, but I am going to ruin his life.”

Although Brown had previously described himself as a spokesperson for Anonymous, some members of the group have distanced themselves from him.

However, the Anonymous sub-group AntiSec retaliated Thursday night for Brown´s arrest by publishing what it says are the addresses, credit card numbers and other personal data of 13 people believed to be federal government employees.

Brown is currently being held in federal prison, and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of threatening a federal law enforcement officer.