The Metropolitan Police have announced the arrest of a 19-year-old man, known online as Topiary, who has been identified by Scotland Yard as the spokesman for the hacktivist group's Lulzsec and Anonymous.
Officers called it "pre-planned intelligence-led operation" that resulted in the arrest of the suspect who is believed to be affiliated with Lulzsec and Anonymous, according to a statement released by the Metropolitan Police.
Police are still searching a residence in the Shetlands Islands where the suspect was arrested earlier today. They are also conducting a search at another address located in Lincolnshire that is connected to the international investigation into the activities and criminal behaviour of the hacktivist groups Lulzsec and Anonymous. According to police, a 17-year-old male is being questioned but has not been arrested.
The police statement said:
Today’s operation is linked to PCeU’s (Metropolitan Police Central e-Crimes Unit) ongoing investigation into network intrusions and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against a number of international business and intelligence agencies by what is believed to be the same hacking group
Today's arrest comes on the heels of the arrest of 16 Anonymous affiliated hackers in the United States by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) a week ago. Those arrests were made following the simultaneous execution of 35 search warrants by the FBI. The sixteen individuals arrested were charged for their alleged involvement in the DDoS attack against PayPal, as reported by Digital Journal. Anonymous has claimed responsibility for the execution of that cyber-attack.
Lulz Boat logo
The 'mascot' for the hacker group Lulz Boat
The Metropolitan Police Service and Dutch National Police had reportedly arrested five additional Anonymous hackers for related cyber-crimes in raids conducted on the same day and time as the FBI sting.
The Metropolitan Police have not yet released the name of the individual arrested today, but say he is in the process of being transferred to police station in London.
Topiary is believed to be the person who appeared in the videotape from the David Pakman Show with Shirley Phelps-Roper after Anonymous hacked the website of the Westboro Baptist Church.
The last statement issued by Anonymous and Lulzsec warned the FBI:
"These governments and corporations are our enemy. And we will continue to fight them, with all methods we have at our disposal, and that certainly includes breaking into their websites and exposing their lies. We are not scared any more. Your threats to arrest us are meaningless to us as you cannot arrest an idea. Any attempt to do so will make your citizens more angry until they will roar in one gigantic choir. It is our mission to help these people and there is nothing - absolutely nothing - you can possibly to do make us stop.
Topiary's last message posted on Twitter July 21 said, "You cannot arrest an idea."