Louise Mensch: 59-year-old man arrested in 'Anonymous email threat' probe

Filed Under: Law & order, Social networks, Twitter

Louise MenschAccording to British police, a 59-year-old man has been arrested in connection with threats made against Louise Mensch MP via email and Twitter.

Earlier this week, British MP Louise Mensch claimed that she had received a threat against her children from the Anonymous hacktivist group.

Mensch, who under her maiden name of Louise Bagshawe has written a number of fluffy chick-lit novels, used Twitter to reveal that her family had been threatened:

Had some morons from Anonymous /Lulzsec threaten my children via email. As I'm in the States, be good to have somebody from the UK police advise me where I should forward the email. To those who sent it; get stuffed, losers.

Oh and I'm posting it on Twitter because they threatened me telling me to get off Twitter. Hi kids! ::waves::

I've contacted the police via the House of Commons and the email is with them now. I don't bully easily, kids. Or in fact at all.

The Met Police's e-crime unit (PCeU), working with officers from the Palace of Westminster, arrested the man yesterday near Gloucester in connection with the malicious communications.

Of course, the arrested man must be considered innocent unless proven guilty, and we have no way of telling presently if he considers himself associated with Anonymous or not.

Certainly it's become more normal for Anonymous to publish statements on sites like PasteBin than send emails containing threats against children.

In a message posted on Twitter, the Tory MP said that the Anonymous and LulzSec names and logos were included in the email, but that she recognised that there were many different individuals forming the movement.

At least one Anonymous-affiliated Twitter account was keen to disassociate itself with the threat:

Tweet from Anonymous account

The official statement from the Metropolitan Police about the arrest is published on their website.

Update: In April 2012, 60-year-old Frank Zimmerman was found guilty of sending the death threat to Louise Mensch.

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5 Responses to Louise Mensch: 59-year-old man arrested in 'Anonymous email threat' probe

  1. Dee · 1099 days ago

    I understand how scary it is to get those types of threats. But, although I do not agree, I understand what Anonymous and LulSec are trying to do and it does not sound like their SOP. They usually have a reason for hacking and this just doesn't sound like they would have any reason for it.

  2. zan · 1099 days ago

    This sounds like more fluff to me. Could it be Mensch had a slow-moving novel and she was looking for a little shot in the arm with a tag-along news hit about some vague "Anonymous" drama? Shameful to use her children as pawns to promote tacky work.

  3. Wile E Coyote · 1099 days ago

    He can't be a member of Anon. At 59, he's 40 years to old to be part of that group!

    Actually, that got me thinking: at one time we are told that Anon is an idea not a group, then we are told that an individual is not part of Anon. Strikes me to be a bit of a paradox, as does the dichotomy of not causing personal harm, but happy to release names, addresses and phone numbers of serving police officers.

    It seems to me that Anon is a misguided mix of ideas, ideals and in some cases criminals who have their own agenda, but perhaps we already knew that.

  4. Tom Ryan · 1099 days ago

    @Dee what part is not part of their SOP? I have known numerous females that have been targeted and threatened by Anonymous. I have spoken to numerous people where being involved with Anonymous has destroyed their lives. When they target you, you don't know until they have destroyed you.

    @Wile I agree with you. Anonymous claims to be an idea, not a group. An idea can not have a splinter cell like LulzSec or a movement like AntiSec to blame the debauchery and chaos that they have created. Ironically they claim you cant be a member of Anonymous. But with certain people when raising funds, they ask you to support members of Anonymous like Mercedes and Topiary.

    Anonymous claims to have no leader, but during the protests and hacker attacks the organizational structure is clearly defined. Is a founder of an organization not a leader? Is the loudest voice that everyone follows not a leader? Was @Anonymousabu not the leader with the ideas behind many of the cyber attacks. Have you analyzed the chat logs and see how they looked at Sabu as the leader. During #opBART have you not seen @ioerror and @exiledsurfer as the most influential people? Does that not make them leaders?

    To makes things clear, Anonymous has no defined structure on paper, thus making it easy to take over. The loudest voice will always be the one in control. @ioerror (Jacob Appelbaum) has the loudest voice because of last year when he was announced as the US Spokesperson for WikiLeaks. He is a smart, well educated and well respected member of the security community, thus making it easy for him to become a leader.

    If you think I am wrong, tell me on twitter at @providesecurity

    Stay Frosty ;-)

  5. Richard · 1099 days ago

    That headline could be worded better - you've made it sound like Louise Mensch *is* the 59-year-old who's been arrested!

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.