Entries in WikiLeaks (59)


FBI Aided in WikiLeaks “Operation Payback” Investigation

Photo Courtesy -- ABC News(WASHINGTON) – The FBI has told ABC News that they assisted in Wednesday’s arrest of a Dutch youth who was involved in a cyber-attack that was carried out by a group of WikiLeaks supporters.

The Dutch National Police arrested a 16-year-old boy who they say was part of “Operation Payback,” which aimed to bring down international credit card sites that decided earlier this week to halt donations to the whistleblowing site.

In the past 24 hours, the anonymous group behind most of the attacks has brought down sites belonging to the Swedish government and its prosecution agency after an arrest warrant was issued by the country for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

At a press conference Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged that the Justice Department is involved in the investigation related to “Operation Payback.” “We are aware of the incident that you have described and I will simply say we are looking into it,” Holder said.

A Dutch National Prosecutors Office confirms spokesperson said the teenager has confessed to involvement in the attacks. A court hearing is set for Friday.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Lawyer: Assange Accusers 'Treated Like Perpetrators'

Photo Courtesy - BERTIL ERICSON/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The two Swedish women who have accused Wikileaks founder Julian Assange of sex crimes, including rape, are angry at the suggestion their claims are politically motivated, the women's lawyer said Thursday.

"They were attacked by Mr. Assange and then they are treated like perpetrators themselves," attorney Claes Borgstrom told ABC News. "He has molested them and then sacrificed them for his own interests."

One woman accused Assange of sexually coercing her twice in August, including one time when he allegedly "forcibly parted her legs, preventing her from moving... then had intercourse without a condom," according to prosecutors. The second woman claimed that Assange had unprotected sex with her while she slept.

Borgstrom told ABC News one of the women went to the hospital following one of the alleged attacks.

Assange's arrest earlier this week came in the midst of an international controversy over the publication of more than a quarter million classified U.S. diplomatic documents by Assange's website, Wikileaks. The timing of the arrest led a Wikileaks spokesperson, Assange's lawyer Mark Stephens and hundreds of Assange's supporters to claim they were part of a political effort to marginalize the Wikileaks founder.

But Borgstrom said his clients were hardly against Wikileaks. Rather, the two were employed by Wikileaks and were in fact "admirers" of Assange's work.

"They want that there will be a trial so Julian Assange must answer to what he has done and so the world sees it's true and it really happened," Borgstrom said.

The accusations against Assange were previously dropped by one Swedish prosecutor before being picked up by another. When the accusations were read in a British court Tuesday, the judge said the case is "about serious sexual offenses on three separate occasions, involving two separate victims...extremely serious allegations." 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Wikileaks Cable: American TV Shows 'Agents of Influence' in Saudi Arabia

PhotoCourtesy - Joe Raedle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- American television shows broadcast across the Middle East are proving to be effective "agents of influence" in the ongoing battle over hearts and minds of ordinary Muslims pondering jihad against the United States, a confidential government cable published by Wikileaks reveals.

ABC's Desperate Housewives and World News with Diane Sawyer, as well as CBS' Late Show with David Letterman" and NBC's Friends, all carry more sway with viewers than a U.S. taxpayer-funded Middle East broadcast network, an unnamed Saudi source told U.S. embassy officials last year.

"It's still all about the war of ideas here, and the American programming on [privately-owned] MBC and Rotana is winning over ordinary Saudis in a way that 'Al Hurra' and other U.S. propaganda never could," the source said.

"Saudis are now very interested in the outside world, and everybody wants to study in the U.S. if they can. They are fascinated by U.S. culture in a way they never were before."

The Saudi government has permitted the satellite broadcasts of American programming uncensored with Arabic subtitles over the privately-owned Middle East Broadcasting group, or MBC, as a "means of countering the extremists."

U.S. officials also wrote in the cable to Washington that some American movies, broadcast over Rotana's Fox Movies channel, were particularly influential with Saudi audiences.

They credited two, unnamed "mawkish U.S. dramas featuring respectful, supportive American husbands dealing with spouses suffering from addiction problems" with displaying "models of supportive behavior in relationships."

The film Michael Clayton, starring George Clooney, was noted as resonating among Saudis for its "exemplary illustration of heroic honesty in the face of corruption." And the Robin Williams-Al Pacino film Insomnia was singled out for its presentation of "respect for the law over self-interest." 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Charges on Julian Assange: Politically Motivated, or Just Convenient?

Photo Courtesy - Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The arrest and detention of Julian Assange Tuesday on charges of rape and sexual assault was at the least a convenient development for government leaders who've sought ways to contain the leader of the controversial website Wikileaks.

But to some observers, including Assange, the timing and nature of the personal allegations are more than coincidence -- they're "politically motivated."  And the confluence of recent events gives at least the appearance that could be true.

In mid-August, two Swedish women told prosecutors and news outlets they had each had consensual sex with Assange, but that he didn't use a condom, against their wishes, and subsequently refused to get tested for sexually-transmitted diseases.  Their complaint led to a warrant on charges of sexual molestation.

But now prosecutors allege Assange forcibly raped at least one of the women and sexually assaulted the other -- significantly more serious allegations than what investigators initially pursued.

Assange, 39, was formally charged and held without bond in London on one count of rape, two of sexual assault, and one of coercion.  He has denied the allegations and insists the sex with both women was consensual.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Arrested

Photo Courtesy - Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The founder of WikiLeaks, who has angered U.S. officials with the leaks of hundreds of thousands of classified documents, was arrested in Great Britain Tuesday morning.

Julian Assange, 39, was arrested by London's Metropolitan Police on behalf of Swedish authorities on suspicion of rape.  Assange is also accused of one count of unlawful coercion and two counts of sexual molestation, all of which he allegedly committed in Sweden in August of 2010.

Assange was staying at an undisclosed location in Britain.  His lawyer said arrangements were being made to meet with police by consent.

The WikiLeaks founder appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court Tuesday, where a judge denied him bail, citing that he has means and cause to fail to surrender.  Assange will now remain in custody until Dec. 14.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


WikiLeaks Publishes List of 'Critical Infrastructure Locations' Overseas

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- WikiLeaks has struck again, and this disclosure of vital facilities around the world may be the most damaging yet to U.S. national security.

The whistleblower website made the secret files public Monday. They list “critical infrastructure” locations outside the U.S. that offer food, energy, health care and emergency services.  They include mines in Africa and Asia, vaccine production facilities inside Europe and locations of telecommunication cables that connect the U.S. to its allies.

Calling WiliLeaks latest document dump “irresponsible,” Assistant Secretary of State Phillip Crowley added, “there are strong and valid reasons information is classified, including critical infrastructure and key resources that are vital to the national and economic security of any country.”

With the list of vital facilities now common knowledge, they become susceptible to attack by terrorists and other enemies of the U.S., according to American and international officials.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


WikiLeaker Warns 'Doomsday Files' Will Be Opened if He Is Detained

Photo Courtesy - LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- British police are closing in on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, vowing to arrest him "as soon as possible." The Australian hacker recently released secret U.S. diplomatic cables related to sensitive sites vital to America's national security.

As Assange continues to raise the ire of the United States for publishing classified and sometimes embarrassing diplomatic cables, Swedish authorities are pursuing him in connection with alleged rapes against two women there in August.

British authorities last week said they knew Assange's whereabouts and had been in contact with him since he arrived there in November.

As the noose tightens on Assange, Wikileaks is under additional pressure from the Swiss government, which recently closed a bank account where the site received vital financial donations.

The latest cable leak to anger U.S. authorities includes a list of installations vital to America's national security and interests.

Assange has threatened that if he is arrested he would release a cache of documents, nicknamed the "doomsday files," that includes secret documents whose release would threaten America's national security.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Former Top Diplomat Says US Ambassador to Afghanistan Must Go

Karl W. Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. Photo Courtesy - U.S. Department of State(WASHINGTON) -- Zalmay Khalilzad, the former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, tells ABC News that America's current ambassador there, Karl Eikenbury, should go because his relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai had been irreparably damaged by leaks.

"I think he has -- really, he's been damaged very badly by the leaks that have taken place, here in Washington, before WikiLeaks and afterwards. And a trusting relationship, if that's his objective, and I believe it ought to be, would require, I think, changes in terms of personnel that are responsible on a day to day basis in dealing with President Karzai," Khalilzad said.

He said the Obama administration has not managed their relationship with Karzai well.

"I think this goes back to ... Ambassador Eikenbury's cable as an input to the strategy review -- a very highly-classified cable -- was leaked, damaging his relationship with President Karzai," Khalilzad said. "And then all the discussions that are in the book of Mr. Woodward, the leaking of extremely classified stuff, was far more damaging to the relationship and the management of the relationship with Karzai then the WikiLeaks."

"There is a huge trust deficit," Khalilzad, who was born in Afghanistan, said. "If we want to deal with the issue of partnership with the government of Afghanistan, if we want to deal with the issue of domestic politics effectively, of capitalizing cooperation, we would need to have a new team to be able to do that."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


WikiLeaks Cables Give Insight Into Chinese Hacking

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(BEIJING) -- In a recent batch of cables released by WikiLeaks, the world was given new information concerning the alleged Chinese hacking of search giant, Google. The cable says that a well-placed contact tipped diplomats that high-level Chinese officials coordinated the attack.

According to The New York Times, the cable reveals that when a Google search turned up material deemed offensive by the government, Li Changchun, one of the country's top officials, decided to conduct a cyber attack. Google responded to the hacking in January 2010. If true, the cable shows the level of Chinese concern about Google's influence and lack of censorship.

A seperate cable reveals that the U.S. government has been subject to Chinese hackers as early as 2002. The objective of these attacks, the cable claimed, was to "exfiltrate massive amounts of sensitive data from the networks."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


WikiLeaks Continues Fight to Stay Online

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Photo Courtesy - LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The controversial website WikiLeaks is in a fight to stay online.

The site has been dropped by its main server in France, at least temporarily preventing many people from accessing its trove of secret U.S. government documents.

It has also lost a major source of funding. The online payment service PayPal has shut down WikiLeaks’ account on the site, saying that the website is engaged in illegal activity.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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