FBI arrests 16 Anonymous suspects

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FBI arrests 16 Anonymous suspects

Updated: Major raids carried out across United States.

The FBI has arrested 14 people suspected of hacking PayPal's website as retribution for the payment service cutting off a donation account used by WikiLeaks.

Another two people were arrested in the United States on other "cyber" charges, while further arrests were made in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, a statement said.

In total, American authorities executed more than 35 warrants across the country. Those arrested ranged in age from 20 to 42 years old.

Earlier report: The FBI on Tuesday raided three homes in New York for computers suspected of being used by members of the Internet vigilante hacking group Anonymous, an agency spokesman said.

One residence in Brooklyn and two others on Long Island were searched for computers and computer-related accessories. At least one laptop was removed from one of the homes, the FBI said.

"The searches are in connection to an ongoing investigation," FBI spokesman Peter Donald said.

Anonymous, a grass-roots organisation inspired by WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, claimed to have broken into Apple servers earlier this month.

It also launched attacks in December that temporarily shut down sites of MasterCard and Visa using simple software tools freely available over the Internet.

Anonymous also has released scores of private e-mails and other data from an Arizona police website.

The group teamed up with the Lulz Security group of hackers in June. LulzSec has breached websites of Sony, the CIA and a British police unit.

(Reporting by Basil Katz and Christine Kearney, editing by Mark Egan).

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