Law enforcement agencies in the U.S., UK and the Netherlands have arrested 20 suspected members of the hacker collective Anonymous. The U.S. FBI were responsible for the majority of the arrests, detaining 16 suspected hackers.
In Europe one 16-year-old by was detained in London, while four individuals were arrested in the Netherlands.
Of the 16 arrested by the FBI, 14 are suspected of taking part in Anonymous' original attack on Paypal last December. The attack was one of the first high-profile hacks enacted by the group and was done to protest the company's decision to cut payments to Wikileaks.
A news release from the U.S. Justice Department commented that the arrests were made:
"In retribution for PayPal's termination of WikiLeaks' donation account, a group calling itself Anonymous coordinated and executed distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against PayPal's computer servers using an open source computer program the group makes available for free download on the Internet."
The arrests were made across the country with individuals from Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Washington DC, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico and Ohio all being targeted.
While the identities of some of those arrested remain unknown, a report from Fox News named several of those detained as a result of the California indictment.
Fox listed the suspected Anonymous hackers as Christopher Wayne Cooper, aka "Anthrophobic;" Joshua John Covelli, aka "Absolem" and "Toxic"; Keith Wilson Downey; Mercedes Renee Haefer, aka "No" and "MMMM"; Donald Husband, aka "Ananon"; Vincent Charles Kershaw, aka "Trivette," "Triv" and "Reaper"; Ethan Miles; James C. Murphy; Drew Alan Phillips, aka "Drew010"; Jeffrey Puglisi, aka "Jeffer," "Jefferp" and "Ji"; Daniel Sullivan; Tracy Ann Valenzuela; and Christopher Quang Vo,.
Since then Scott Matthew Arciszewski has been revealed as the individual arrested in Florida, and Lance Moore in New Jersey.
Speaking to the BBC, Scotland Yard representatives confirmed that in the UK the 16-year-old youth was arrested on suspicion of breaching the Computer Misuse Act of 1990. Speaking to the Guardian a Metropolitan Police spokesmen clarified: "Officers from the Met's computer's E-crime unit arrested a 16 year-old male on Tuesday afternoon on suspicion of breaching the Computer Misuse Act. He was arrested at an address in south London and remains in custody at a central London police station."
Details about the four individuals arrested in the Netherlands remain vague, though they are said to have been a part of a "coordinated effort" with the UK police and U.S. FBI.
"The Metropolitan Police is liaising with the FBI and indeed with our Dutch colleagues," commented a Scotland Yard spokesman.
The news comes just as Anonymous' sibling hacker group LulzSec return to activity, hacking the News International, Rupert Murdoch-owned Sun Web site.
Already the Turkish, Spanish and Italian police have mounted similar raids against Anonymous leading to the arrest of roughly 30 individuals -- most of whom are thought to be in their teens or early 20s.
The group is currently in the midst of its AntiSec campaign. Anonymous initially publicised the campaign as a protest against internet moderation and censorship. Since it gained momentum the group has expanded its mission statement, now targeting any company or organisation it views as corrupt.
Anonymous is yet to comment on the recent slew of arrests.