Madrid.— Spain yesterday arrested four suspected hackers associated with the Anonymous activist group on accusations of defacing websites and releasing personal data about police officers and bodyguards protecting Spain's royal family and the prime minister. The arrests in the Spanish cities of Madrid and Malaga were part of an international operation that identified 10 more suspects in Argentina, six in Chile and five in Colombia, Spain's Interior Ministry said in a statement. It did not say whether those suspects were arrested. “These cyber attacks were sometimes individual actions but they were supported by many people who joined forces and knowledge to commit them,” the police said, according to the statement. “Those arrested ... had a high level of knowledge of information technology.” The loosely organised group Anonymous is suspected of coordinated computer hacking against institutions, multinationals and government organisations across the world.

Earlier this month, anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks began publishing more than 5 million emails from U.S.-based global security analysis company Stratfor believed to have been obtained by Anonymous supporters.