US government agencies have been bracing for the release of thousands more classified documents since the leak of a classified helicopter cockpit video of a 2007 firefight in Baghdad.
That leak was blamed on a US Army intelligence analyst working in Iraq, in what could well be one of the most damaging leaks of classified military information in the nation’s history.
Specialist Bradley Manning, 22, of Potomac, Maryland, (right) was arrested in Iraq and charged earlier this month with multiple counts of mishandling and leaking classified data, after a former hacker turned him in.
Manning had bragged to the hacker, Adrian Lamo, that he had downloaded 260,000 classified or sensitive US State Department cables and transmitted them by computer to Wikileaks.org.
Lamo turned Manning in to US authorities, saying he could not live with the thought that those released documents might get someone killed.
In April this year the website published decrypted footage shot from the cockpit of a US Apache helicopter.
The 38-minute gunsight video shows troops shooting at civilians, who they believed were insurgents, on the streets of Baghdad in July 2007.
Two journalists from the news agency Reuters were among those killed and two children were seriously injured.
American army intelligence analyst Manning faces up to 52 years in jail for allegedly leaking the tape.
Lamo believes Manning could not have worked alone in relation to the latest leak, saying he did not have “the technological expertise” to carry out the gathering and distribution of the documents.
“I believe somebody would have had to have been of assistance to him,” he added.
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