WikiLeaks’ Syria emails embarrass governments across the world, Assange claims
WikiLeaks has started publishing 2.5 million emails from Syrian political figures, ministries and associated companies.
The emails date from August 2006 to March 2012 and come from 680 “Syria-related entities”, including the Ministries of Presidential Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Information, Transport and Culture, WikiLeaks said.
“The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria’s opponents,” said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is believed to still be living at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
“It helps us not merely to criticise one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it.”
WikiLeaks claimed “the Syria Files shine a light on the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy, but they also reveal how the West and Western companies say one thing and do another”.
The group got its hands on a database of 2,434,899 emails from 680 domains belonging to Syrian-related organisations. It did not say how it managed to get that database.
In the database, there were 678,752 email addresses related to sent messages, and another 1,082,447 belonging to different recipients, Assange’s group said. Around 42,000 emails were infected with viruses or trojans, it added.
“To solve these complexities, WikiLeaks built a general-purpose, multi-language political data-mining system which can handle massive data sets like those represented by the Syria Files,” WikiLeaks added.
“In such a large collection of information, it is not possible to verify every single email at once; however, WikiLeaks and its co-publishers have done so for all initial stories to be published. We are statistically confident that the vast majority of the data are what they purport to be.”
Assange is hoping to gain asylum to Ecuador, after he lost his final appeal against extradition from the UK to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations that he raped a woman and sexually molested and coerced another in Stockholm in August 2010.
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