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US officials offer cash to IT expert to `infiltrate` WikiLeaks

American investigators probing the leak of classified documents related to Afghan war offered cash to a computer expert to "infiltrate" whistle-blower website WikiLeaks to prevent further disclosures, a media report said.



Washington: American investigators probing
the leak of classified documents related to Afghan war offered
cash to a computer expert to "infiltrate" whistle-blower
website WikiLeaks to prevent further disclosures, a media
report said on Sunday.

The investigators interviewed the Boston area
acquaintance of Bradley E Manning, accused of giving WikiLeaks
State Department cables and a video of a helicopter attack in
which unarmed civilians were killed in Baghdad, to contain
further leaks, The Washington Post reported.

The man, a computer expert who met Manning in January,
said he told the investigators in mid-June that he knew of no
such documents.

Officials have said they are investigating whether
Manning leaked the Afghanistan documents made public last
week, a disclosure that prompted condemnation from the Obama
administration.

The computer expert said the Army offered him cash to,
in his word, "infiltrate" WikiLeaks.

"I turned them down," he said. "I don`t want anything
to do with this cloak-and-dagger stuff."

Army Criminal Investigation Division spokesman Chris
Grey declined to comment on the claim.

"We`ve got an ongoing investigation," he said. "We
don`t discuss our techniques and tactics."

Another Manning acquaintance, who was questioned, said
investigators "assumed that he was the one who did it and were
trying to understand why, what was going on with him
psychologically, to either make it so nobody gets to this
point in the future or spot people who`ve gotten to this point
and make sure they didn`t do any damage."

This acquaintance, also a computer expert who spoke on
the condition of anonymity, is affiliated with the prestigious
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He said he was interviewed twice in June in Cambridge,
Mass, shortly after Manning was detained. Manning was charged
in July.

Manning, who lived in Potomac and was stationed at
Fort Drum, N.Y., before shipping out to Baghdad last year, had
hoped he would serve his time and then use the G.I. Bill to go
to college. His military attorney has declined to comment.

"He was definitely interested in making a positive
impact on the world," said Danny Clark, a friend of Manning`s
who runs a small tech firm in Cambridge and has declined to be
interviewed by military investigators.

Manning has been transferred from Kuwait, where he had
been detained, to Quantico. He was charged in military court
in July and will have a preliminary hearing to determine if he
should face a court-martial.

At the time of his arrest, Manning was an intelligence
analyst at a relatively small base in Iraq.

PTI

From Zee News

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