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EXCLUSIVE: FBI Raids Homes of Suspected 'Anonymous' Hackers

baldwin FBI Raids NYC

July 19, 2011: FBI agents execute a search warrant at the Long Island, NY, home of a suspected member of notorious hacking group Anonymous. (Fox News)

The FBI executed search warrants at the New York homes of three suspected members of notorious hacking group Anonymous early Tuesday morning, FoxNews.com has learned.

More than 10 FBI agents arrived at the Baldwin, N.Y., home of Giordani Jordan at 6:00 a.m. EST with a search warrant for computers and computer-related accessories, removing at least one laptop from the premises.

The agents spent an hour and 40 minutes at Jordan's house; other agents investigated a second Long Island, N.Y., home and one in Brooklyn, N.Y., sources told FoxNews.com.

Jordan's system was identified as allegedly being used in a coordinated distributed denial of service attack against several companies, a law enforcement official told FoxNews.com.

The targets of the FBI searches are all in their late teens to early 20s. 

Tuesday's search warrants were part of an ongoing investigation into Anonymous, which claimed responsibility for attacks against a variety of websites including Visa and Mastercard. Anonymous is a loose collection of cybersavvy activists inspired by WikiLeaks and its flamboyant head Julian Assange to fight for "Internet freedom" -- along the way defacing websites, shutting down servers, and scrawling messages across screens web-wide.

A tweet purportedly from the hacker group sent out around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning -- following the Monday defacement of the website for British newspaper The Sun -- trumpeted "We had an awesome day, loud hail to all #AntiSec vessels: We are winning."

Another Twitter feed purportedly connected to the Anonymous group issued a defiant message Tuesday morning in response to the FBI's action: "It doesn't matter how many people the 'FBI' arrest. Whether they are core members or not. #anonymous have started something unstoppable."

The Anonymous vigilante group turned its efforts to the Arizona police department in late June, posting personal information of law officers and hacking and defacing websites in response, the group claims, to the state's controversial SB1070 immigration law.

While Anonymous is largely a politically motivated organization, splinter group LulzSec -- which dominated headlines in the spring for a similar streak of cyberattacks -- was largely in it for the thrills.

The metropolitan police in London arrested the first alleged member of the LulzSec group on June 20, a 19-year-old teen named Ryan Cleary. Subsequent sweeps through Italy and Switzerland in early July led to the arrests of 15 more people -- all between the ages of 15 and 28 years old.

The two groups are responsible for a broad spate of digital break-ins targeting governments and large corporations, including Japanese technology giant Sony, the U.S. Senate, telecommunications giant AT&T, Fox.com, and other government and private entities.