DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - A Dallas man is believed to be in federal custody after allegedly threatening an FBI agent on the internet.
That person, Barrett Brown is also a sometime spokesman for the “hacktivist” group called “Anonymous.”
In a recent YouTube posting railing against the FBI and the Zetas drug cartel, Brown said of federal agents, “And I will shoot all of them and kill them if they come and do anything because they are engaged in a criminal conspiracy.”
According to D-Magazine publisher Tim Rogers, Brown’s online rant was triggered when he felt the FBI was targeting his mother when agents recently searched both Brown’s home and his mother’s.
“And so he posted a video online where he threatened one agent in particular, threatened to look into his children,” Rogers said.
On the YouTube posting Brown is heard to say, “When I say his [the agent’s] life is over, I don’t say I’m going to kill him; but I’m going to ruin his life and look into his [expletive deleted] kids.”
Brown is a published author who’s written for national magazines, as well as Dallas’ D-Magazine.
Rogers did an award-winning profile on the author when Brown emerged as an occasional spokesman for the loosely organized computer hacking group known as Anonymous.
Much like Wikileaks, Anonymous hacks and posts government and corporate secrets…but it has also identified members of dangerous Mexican drug cartels; so Anonymous members fear reprisals.
The “hactivist” group has become such a force, that only this year, Time Magazine named Anonymous as one of the most influential groups of people in the world.
Brown was actually online in his Uptown apartment chatting with other individuals when the FBI came to arrest him. An unidentified woman was on his webcam when agents came in and while she shut the lid on her laptop the scuffle could still be heard.
“Get your head down,” people presumed to be agents are heard shouting at one point. Rogers observes, “You can hear the audio, and it’s hard to understand what’s happening but clearly they were wrestling him to the ground and a lot of swearing.”
Brown was held briefly in the Dallas County Jail then transferred into federal custody. E-mails and phone calls to the U.S. Attorney and Brown’s lawyer have so far gone unanswered. The FBI isn’t commenting.
Rogers believes deep down that Brown is trying to do good things. “I think Barrett’s heart is in the right place, he really is trying to make a difference, bring attention to how our government operates and how it operates with large corporations, but he’s also a troublemaker…. in many ways I think he’s kind of a sweetheart who wants to have friends online and sometimes he takes things too far. And he took things too far this time.”
Rogers added, “I think he’s a good guy who made a really big mistake that he’s going to pay for.”
Brown’s attorney reportedly said he expects his client to be charged with making threats to a federal agent.
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