He had his own criminal past. He'd been in jail. He'd "been in the game for over a decade," he said.
Hammond trusted him. It wasn't clear why. Most hackers work sub rosa. It's safer that way. Sabu was more open. He bragged about his skills. He used them deceitfully.
In June 2011, he launched AntiSec. He called it "the biggest, unified operation among hackers in history." Hammond took note. He was intrigued with its targets. They included "banks and other high-ranking establishments."
In late spring 2011, rumors suggested FBI agents infiltrated Anonymous chat rooms. Sabu declared AntiSec a revolutionary movement. He urged thousands of Twitter followers to join the cause.
"Rise Up. Resist," he posted. No one doubted his sincerity. He began working with a behind-the-scenes operator called "anarchaos." He wasn't as skilled as he claimed.
Persistent rumors suggested he was compromised. He became increasingly unreliable. He rarely got directly involved in hacks. Hammond grew suspicious.
He and others got tired never seeing him get his hands dirty. No one ever saw him hack anything. He'd always been a fixer. He brought information given him to others. They could use it as they wished.
A hacker no one knew about told Sabu about a security hole in Stratfor's web site. He told others. After the organization was hacked, Sabu announced it on Twitter. It became widely known.
In June 2011, FBI agents approached him. They had incriminating evidence against him, they claimed. They had enough to imprison him for life.
Within hours, he cut a deal. He agreed to betray fellow hackers. He spent months collecting information. According to official documents, he helped build the Justice Department's case. Federal prosecutors call him a model informant.
News of his role emerged when Hammond was arrested. Anonymous members were shocked. They found it hard to believe one of their own would betray them. According to one:
"We'll never know the extent that the FBI went to turn him into a traitor." After the fact, some Anons said they suspected it all along. Something about him didn't wash. He ended up making enemies of friends.
Not everyone was entrapped. Sabu protected Anons he knew weren't useful to FBI agents. He encouraged some to leave. Do it, he urged, to avoid charges.
Authorities used AntiSec to entrap hackers. Hammond is their most prominent catch. The government's case involves nicknames he allegedly used. Hammond denies doing so.
FBI Director Robert Mueller is personally involved.
"You want to identify (hacker crimes), prosecute them, and put (those responsible) in jail for a substantial period of time," he said.