A self-proclaimed leader of the “Anonymous” computer hacker group was arrested in Dallas, Texas, according to officials on Thursday.
Barrett Brown, 31, was arrested on Wednesday night, reports The Orlando Sentinel. Dallas County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Carmen Castro announced that:
“He was arrested and brought in for booking about 11 p.m. last night.”
Castro added that she was not sure why Brown was arrested, because there was no offense listed on the booking sheet. She did say that Brown was turned over to the FBI.
While a spokesman for the FBI declined to comment on the Anonymous hacker’s arrest, a Twitter account for California law firm Leiderman Devin, stated that the firm will be defending Brown at a hearing in Dallas federal court on Thursday. The firm added that the hacker was detained for charges of “threatening a federal agent.”
This is not the first time that Barrett Brown has been involved with the FBI, as he was interviewed in March after authorities revealed that Hector Xavier Monsegur was the colorful leader of Lulz Security, an offshoot of the Anonymous hacking group.
NBC News notes that authorities have been battling to beat back intrusions from Anonymous and other loosely affiliated hacking groups. They have also arrested a number of the groups’ key hackers.
Brown has also been criticized by Anonymous both for using his real name and for calling himself a representative of the group. Anonymous has prided itself on being a loosely knit group with no real leaders.
It is not yet clear if Brown’s arrest is related to a video he posted on YouTube on Wednesday, titled, “Why I’m Going to Destroy FBI Agent Robert Smith.” In the video, the Anonymous hacker states, “I’m fairly certain I am going to do prison time. Brown claims that he will “ruin” Smith’s life, and also states, “Robert Smith’s life is over.”
Attempts to contact the Anonymous hacker arrested on Wednesday have gone unanswered.