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MIT pals may have helped US army analyst on WikiLeaks: Report

Last Updated: Monday, August 2, 2010 - 18:49

Washington: Two MIT-educated friends of
arrested US Army intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, a
suspect in the WikiLeaks case, gave encryption software and
taught him how to use it, according to media reports.

Adrian Lamo, the former computer hacker who tipped off
US federal authorities to WikiLeaks suspect Manning, says two
men in the Boston area, have told him in phone conversations
that they assisted the 22-year-old Army private, suspected to
be behind the biggest leak in US military history of
classified documents on the war in Afghanistan.

Lamo said both men attend the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT), but he refused to identify them because, he
said, at least one of them has threatened him.

One of these men allegedly told Lamo they gave encryption
software to Manning and taught the Army private how to use it,
Lamo was quoted as saying by CNN.

Manning, an Army intelligence analyst, is being held in
solitary confinement at a Virginia detention facility.

Manning was arrested in Baghdad in May and charged
earlier this month with multiple counts of mishandling and
leaking classified data, after Lamo turned him in.

He is charged with leaking an airstrike video that the
whistleblower website WikiLeaks published in April, and
Pentagon officials say he is the prime suspect in last week`s
disclosure of some 75,000 secret US military field reports
from the war in Afghanistan to the site.

Lamo claimed both men are working for WikiLeaks. Also,
both men are Facebook friends with Lamo and Manning, and at
least one continues to post Facebook messages on Lamo`s wall,
the former hacker said.

Asked for comment about Lamo`s allegation that men
working for WikiLeaks assisted Manning, WikiLeaks responded in
an e-mail: "As a matter of policy, we do not discuss any
matters to do with allegations relating to the identity of

The New York Times reported on Saturday that Army
investigators looking into the document leak have expanded
their inquiry to include friends and associates who may have
helped Manning.

Specifically, the Times spoke to two civilians
interviewed in recent weeks by the Army`s criminal division,
who said that investigators apparently believed that the
friends, who include students from MIT and Boston University,
might have connections to WikiLeaks.

The Boston Globe interviewed a recent MIT graduate who
it said acknowledged that he met Manning in January and
exchanged as many as 10 e-mails with him about security

But the individual "adamantly" denied any role in the
document leak, the Globe reported.

A spokeswoman for MIT, Patti Richards, said: "We are
monitoring the situation closely, but are not commenting at
this time."


First Published: Monday, August 2, 2010 - 18:49
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