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Accused 'hacktivist' fugitive ends up in FBI custody after being rescued at sea

By Doug G. Ware   |   Feb. 18, 2016 at 5:45 PM

MIAMI, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- A suspected hacker aligned with the group Anonymous, who had been under investigation and was wanted by the FBI, was finally captured this week after he was rescued at sea near Cuba, authorities said.

Martin Gottesfeld was arrested in Miami Wednesday, the FBI said. The Massachusetts resident had been under investigation since October 2014 for alleged involvement in a hacking of the Boston Children's Hospital six months earlier.

Weeks ago, officials said, a wanted Gottesfeld abruptly dropped from sight with his wife. The FBI was later informed that the couple were in the Caribbean aboard a cruise ship -- although they had actually been on a private sailboat, authorities later clarified.

"Gottesfeld and his wife were not passengers on the ship but rather had been picked up in a sailboat, not far from Cuba," an arrest affidavit states, according to NBC News. "The sailboat had run into trouble and Gottesfeld and his wife had placed a distress call, to which [a nearby Disney] cruise ship responded."

Sunday, it was reported that a Disney cruise ship had picked up a dozen suspected Cuban migrants in the area during a trip in the Caribbean.

Federal agents said the couple had three laptop computers in their possession and that Gottesfeld had posted a video online discussing the hospital hacking job.

Anonymous, an international 'hacktivist' group, has been linked to numerous incidents in recent years that were intended to expose certain people or parties in conflict with its philosophies -- including the Michael Brown shooting case in Ferguson, Mo., and the terror-related attack of Charlie Hebdo in France in 2015.

The group is also well-known for its efforts against the Islamic State terrorist organization.

The April 2014 Boston hospital attack shut down the center's website and caused $300,000 in damage, the affidavit states. The attack was a response to a custody battle between a teenage girl and her parents, which also involved the hospital's treatment and actions involving the girl.

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