Tuesday 21 November 2017

WikiLeaks: Five million emails ‘make News of the World look like kindergarten’

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange arriving at the Royal Courts of Justice, in central London. Photo: PA

Ellen Branagh

WHISTLEBLOWING website WikiLeaks has started to publish more than five million confidential emails from a global intelligence company.

The emails, dated from July 2004 and late December 2011, are said to reveal the "inner workings" of US-based company Stratfor.

The group said the emails show Stratfor's "web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods".

WikiLeaks claims the company "fronts as an intelligence publisher", but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency.

At a press conference in London today, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would not reveal where the emails had come from.

"We are a source protection organisation," he said.

"As a source protection organisation and simply as a media organisation we don't discuss or speculate on sourcing."

The documents are believed to have come from loose-knit hacker group Anonymous, which claimed to have stolen information from the firm in December.

WikiLeaks said the material contains privileged information about the US government's attacks against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and Stratfor's own attempts to subvert WikiLeaks. The group said there are more than 4,000 emails mentioning WikiLeaks or Julian Assange.

But today Mr Assange said more information would emerge in the near future: "We have looked most closely at the actions against us, the bigger story is likely to come out of this probably in three or four days' time."

Mr Assange said: "Today Wikileaks started releasing over 5 million emails from private intelligence firm Stratfor based in Texas, the United States.

"Together with 25 other media partners from around the world we have been investigating the activities of this company for some months.

"And what we have discovered is a company that is a private intelligence Enron.

"On the surface it presents as if it's a media organisation providing a private subscription intelligence newsletter.

"But underneath it is running paid informants networks, laundering those payments through the Bahamas, and through Switzerland, through private credit cards.

"It is monitoring Bhopal activists for Dow Chemicals, Peta activities for Coca-Cola.

"It is engaged in a seedy business."

Mr Assange said Stratfor was using the secret intelligence it had paid for to invest in a wide range of "geopolitical financial instruments".

"This makes News of the World look like kindergarten," he added.

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