Tuesday 23 January 2018

WikiLeaks threatens 'info bomb' if attacked

Steven Swinford and Richard Edwards in London

The US diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks have been sent to 100,000 people and will be released en masse if the website is brought down.

Julian Assange, the founder of the whistle-blowing website, said yesterday that the cables had been copied in encrypted form and would be published online automatically if "something happens to us".

WikiLeaks was yesterday forced to move to a Swiss internet address after its website came under a cyber attack.

Mr Assange is also under increasing scrutiny. British police are likely to arrest him within days and begin proceedings to extradite him to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual molestation, which he denies.

Scotland Yard and security services know Mr Assange's location, believed to be in south-east England, but have been unable to arrest him because Swedish authorities failed to fill out the arrest warrant correctly.

Swedish prosecutors yesterday sent a file containing missing details from the warrant.

Mr Assange appeared unperturbed. He gave an interview yesterday hailing Bradley Manning, the American soldier suspected of passing the cables to his organisation, as an "unparalleled hero".

Mr Manning (23) is being held in solitary confinement at a military base in Quantico, Virginia. He was arrested in May after WikiLeaks released leaked footage of attacks by US Apache helicopters which killed two Reuters news staff in Iraq in 2007.


Mr Manning faces a 50-year jail sentence if he is convicted. Mr Assange said: "If indeed it is the case, as alleged by the Pentagon, that the young soldier -- Bradley Manning -- is behind some of our recent disclosures, then he is without doubt an unparalleled hero.

"The Cable Gate archive has been spread, along with significant material from the US and other countries, to over 100,000 people in encrypted form," he said. "If something happens to us, the key parts will be released automatically."

Mr Assange's lawyer said yesterday: "The police have given us an undertaking that they will contact us if they want to get in touch with Julian."

Mr Assange also criticised Amazon's decision earlier this week to pull the plug on hosting WikiLeaks. On Wednesday the company announced that it was cutting off WikiLeaks after being contacted by Joe Lieberman, the chairman of the US Senate's committee on Homeland Security. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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