FBI arrests 14 in probe of hacker group Anonymous

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The FBI arrested at least 14 people yesterday as part of a wide-ranging investigation of the Internet vigilante hacking group Anonymous, a law enforcement source said.

The arrests came after claims by the group it broke into Apple Inc servers and launched attacks last year that shut down sites of MasterCard Inc and Visa Inc.

Arrests were made in California, Florida and New Jersey, a second law enforcement source said.

Neither source wanted to be identified as charges had not been unsealed.

The arrests followed raids on six locations in New York, including one in Brooklyn and five others on Long Island. They were searched for computers and computer-related accessories, the FBI said.

The equipment was suspected of being used by members of the grass-roots organization inspired by WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

No arrests were made in New York.

FBI officials in California and Florida said searches were underway but declined to confirm any arrests.

A spokesman for the FBI in New Jersey said one arrest was made there but declined to say where or on what charges.

Court papers for the sweep were expected to be unsealed later on Tuesday.

Anonymous, which law enforcement authorities believe is mostly made up of hackers believed to be in their teens and early 20s, also has released scores of private e-mails and other data from an Arizona police website.

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