WikiLeaks publishes emails from US civilian intel firm

"Israeli forces, Kurds already destroyed Iranian nuclear infrastructure," group quotes "Israeli agent" as saying.

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February 28, 2012 00:44
2 minute read.
Ahmadinejad at nuclear ceremony in Tehran

Ahmadinejad at nuclear ceremony in Tehran 390 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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WikiLeaks targeted the Texas-based civilian intelligence company Stratfor on Tuesday, saying it would publish more than five million hacked internal emails.

The anti-secrecy group accused Stratfor of being “a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations” and US government agencies.

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said, “Here we have a private intelligence firm, relying on informants from the US government, foreign intelligence agencies with questionable reputations and journalists.

“What is of grave concern is that the targets of this scrutiny are, among others, activist organizations fighting for a just cause,” Assange said.

“The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods,” WikiLeaks said on its website.

Activists linked to the loosely organized anonymous hackers group said at the beginning of the year that they had stolen the emails of some 100 of the firm’s employees.

One of the emails, claiming to quote a “confirmed Israeli intelligence agent,” stated that Israel had managed to wreck critical sites in Iran’s nuclear program in collusion with Kurdish forces.

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“Source was asked what he thought of reports that the Israelis were preparing a military offensive against Iran. Response: I think this is a diversion. The Israelis already destroyed all the Iranian nuclear infrastructure on the ground weeks ago,” said the email, which was dated November 13, 2011.

“The current ‘Let’s bomb Iran’ campaign was ordered by the EU leaders to divert the public attention from their at-home financial problems,” the email continued.

Responding to a request for clarification, the source added that “Israeli commandos in collaboration with Kurd forces destroyed [a] few underground facilities mainly used for the Iranian defense and nuclear research projects.” The email said the source’s reliability was still being tested.

Stratfor said in a statement that the release of its stolen emails was an attempt to silence and intimidate the company.

Some of the emails being published “may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic,” the statement added.

“We will not validate either. Nor will we explain the thinking that went into them. Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimized twice by submitting to questioning about them,” the statement said.

George Friedman, Stratfor founder and chief executive officer, said on January 11 that hackers would be hard-pressed to find anything significant in the stolen emails.

“God knows what a hundred employees writing endless emails might say that is embarrassing, stupid or subject to misinterpretation... As they search our emails for signs of a vast conspiracy, they will be disappointed,” he said.

Reuters and Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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