A Texas man linked to the worldwide hacking group Anonymous has been detained by the FBI over accusations that he threatened a federal agent, his attorney said Thursday.
Barrett Brown, 31, of Dallas was arrested Wednesday night and booked into the Dallas County jail, according to jail records. Brown was then transferred into FBI custody, Dallas County sheriff's spokeswoman Carmen Castro said.
Brown's attorney, Jay Leiderman, told The Associated Press that he expected Brown to be charged with making threats to a federal agent. Leiderman said the accusations are connected to YouTube videos Brown posted in recent days.
The most recent video posted to Brown's account is entitled in part, "Why I'm Going to Destroy FBI Agent Robert Smith." In it, Brown rails against federal authorities for what he describes as an unfair investigation of him and his mother, who he said was not involved in any of Anonymous' activities.
He said in the video that someone had told his attorney that his mother could face obstruction of justice charges.
"She's a rule follower is what's absurd about this," he said in the video.
Brown has previously been linked to the Anonymous movement of cyber-rebels and was often quoted in media reports about the shadowy movement.
The writer was the subject of a raid by the FBI in March after it and other law enforcement agencies swooped in on the alleged members of the Lulz Security hacking collective, an Anonymous offshoot that claimed responsibility for a series of eye-catching electronic attacks against Sony Corp., FBI affiliate groups, and the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service.
In a profanity-laced tirade, Brown threatens in the video to strike back at Smith.
"So that's why Robert Smith's life is over," Brown said. "But when I say his life is over, I don't say I'm going to go kill him. But I am going to ruin his life and look into his (expletive) kids."
Brown then smiles before adding: "How do you like them apples?"
Spokesmen for the FBI's Dallas office and the local U.S. Attorney's office declined to comment.