WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange ’will release poison pill of damaging secrets if killed or arrested’
Julian Assange, [left], has distributed to fellow hackers an encrypted ’poison pill’ of damaging secrets, thought to include details on BP and Guantanamo Bay.
He believes the file is his ’insurance’ in case he is killed, arrested or the whistleblowing website is removed permanently from the internet.
Mr Assange - understood to be lying low in Britain - could be arrested by Scotland Yard officers as early as tomorrow.
A warrant for his arrest was issued last Thursday by Swedish prosecutors who want to quiz him over rape allegations.
The developments came as fresh revelations were published on the WikiLeaks website. They include:
- A leading Chinese politician coordinated the hacking of Google - which forced it to quit the Communist country - after finding unflattering articles about him on the website.
- UK firm Rolls-Royce lost out on a £200million contract to supply helicopter engines to Spain after the U.S. lobbied Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero in Madrid. The deal was eventually signed by American company GE.
- And European Union President Herman Van Rompuy told a U.S. ambassador that European troops were still in Afghanistan only ’out of deference’ to America.
Mr Assange, a reclusive Australian, has infuriated and embarrassed the U.S. in recent months by releasing hundreds of thousands of classified documents.
First, he published Army logs from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that suggested soldiers were complicit in murder and torture.
And last week he published the first of around 250,000 diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies, many containing sensitive information and embarrassing verdicts on leaders including David Cameron.
High-profile politicians in the U.S. including Sarah Palin, a narrow loser in the race to become the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, have suggested the computer programmer should be ’executed’ for publishing leaked U.S. state secrets.
Mr Assange’s British lawyer, Mark Stephens, warned today that WikiLeaks was holding further secret material which he dubbed a ’thermo-nuclear device’ to be released if the organisation needed to protect itself.
He said many of the papers being retained contained ’material of equal importance to news-gathering’ as those already published.
He said: ’They [WikiLeaks] have been subject to cyber-attacks and censorship around the world and they need to protect themselves.
’This is what they believe to be a thermo-nuclear device in the information age.
’It’s interesting to note people as high up the American tree as Sarah Palin have called for him to be hunted down by American special forces and assassinated.
’We’ve seen a number of suggestions that he should be assassinated, again from credible sources around the world.
’This is all about a man who is a journalist. He received, unbidden, an electronic brown envelope that journalists receive.
’This particular journalist has put it out. What they are doing is criminalising him, criminalising journalistic activity.’
The prime suspect in the hunt for the person who stole the files is Bradley Manning, a 23-year-old U.S. Army intelligence analyst who is now in military custody.
The ’doomsday files’ which have been downloaded from the WikiLeaks website by tens of thousands of supporters are understood to include information on Guantanamo Bay, and aerial video of a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan that killed civilians, BP reports and Bank of America documents.
The files are encoded with a 256-digit key. Experts have said it is virtually unbreakable.
Mr Stephens told the BBC that legal moves to arrest Mr Assange, who is wanted for questioning over the rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion of two women during a visit to Sweden in August, appeared to be a ’political stunt’.
Originally the entire case was dropped by Sweden’s chief prosecutor.
Mr Stephens said that only ’after the intervention of a Swedish politician’ that a new prosecutor in Gothenburg - not Stockholm, where his client and two women had been - began a new case.
He denies the allegations vehemently and has described them as a ’smear’.
Mr Stephens said that Sweden had allowed U.S. planes carrying terror suspects - the illegal practice of extraordinary rendition - to use its airfields.
He said: ’It doesn’t escape me that Sweden was one of those lick-spittle states which used its resources and facilities for rendition flights.’
He also confirmed that the WikiLeaks site had come under siege from ’a huge number of cyber-attacks’.
Article from: dailymail.co.uk