UK police arrest suspected Lulzsec spokesman

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UK police arrest suspected Lulzsec spokesman

Topiary held in remote Shetland Islands.

A British teenager was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of being a prominent member of the computer hacking group that has boasted of breaking into the networks of the CIA, Sony and many other private and public bodies.

British police said the 19-year-old was held at a house in the remote Shetland Islands, off Scotland's northeast coast, and was being taken to a police station in central London.

The teenager is thought to be a spokesman for the LulzSec and Anonymous hacking groups and uses the online nickname Topiary, London's Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement.

The arrest was part of a "pre-planned, intelligence-led operation", it added.

LulzSec has claimed responsibility for cyber-attacks on the US Central Intelligence Agency, Sony's online gaming website and the website of Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper group, News International.

The group has attracted widespread global media coverage for its stunts and has nearly 350,000 followers on Twitter, the messaging website.

Last month, British police charged Ryan Cleary, 19, with attacking the website of Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and sites owned by the British Phonographic Industry and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

Cleary, arrested as part of a joint investigation by London police and the US FBI into recent attacks on high-profile websites, was given bail.

The FBI raided six locations in New York earlier this month and conducted searches in California as part of an investigation into the hacking group Anonymous.

Anonymous, which has worked with LulzSec, claimed to have broken into Apple servers in July. It also launched attacks in December that temporarily shut down sites of MasterCard and Visa using simple software available on the Internet.

(Reporting by Peter Griffiths)

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