US: Soldier Behind Leaked Documents Helped Al-Qaida

Posted March 15th, 2012 at 1:10 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. government prosecutors are detailing the charges facing an Army intelligence analyst accused of passing classified documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

Military prosecutors gave their written answers Thursday to a series of questions about the accusations facing 24-year-old Bradley Manning.

Manning faces 22 counts, the most serious of which is “aiding the enemy.” A military judge told the hearing that prosecutors will argue Manning's alleged actions indirectly aided al-Qaida, specifically al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

Manning was arraigned last month.

Prosecution experts testified during a preliminary hearing in December they found evidence Manning downloaded diplomatic cables onto compact discs that were sent to WikiLeaks.

He is alleged to have leaked a trove of diplomatic cables, and military documents related to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Manning's lawyers have described their client as a troubled man who should not have been allowed access to classified material while serving in Iraq between November 2009 and May 2010. His attorneys also said the military's oversight of its computers was lax.

Manning could spend the rest of his life in prison if found guilty.

The leaked documents, published by WikiLeaks starting in July 2010, infuriated the international community, often providing blunt and unflattering U.S. views of world leaders' private and public lives.

U.S. officials say the WikiLeaks publication of the stolen documents put lives in danger, threatened national security and undermined American efforts to work with other countries.