An explanation of Julian's Assange's alleged crime was on Monday and revealed more about what investigators knew about WikiLeaks' more in-depth communication with former defense analyst Chelsea Manning.
Assange, 47, was arrested on Thursday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in conjunction with a US accusation to gather for a Pentagon data network in 2010.
A possible arrest and extradition to the United States was expected in recent months after The prosecutors in November wrongly revealed in November that the Justice Department had secretly brought criminal charges against Assange. After a British Supreme Court ruling that he would be extradited to Sweden to challenge sexual assault charges, Assange applied for political asylum at Ecuador's Embassy in London in 201
But the accusation, osealed last week, revealed that Assange had not been charged in connection with Russian involvement in the election or that he had been charged with publishing state secrets contained in the documents leaked by Manning nearly a decade ago. Instead, the prosecutors accused him of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion by agreeing to help Manning crack a password that would have given her access to a classified military network.
The only bill collection against Assange has a maximum sentence of five years in prison, but national security experts speculate that there could be a lot of extra costs – including espionage – in Assange as and when he was extradited to the United States.
FBI Special Agent Megan Brown wrote in 26 pages Assange and Manning tried to access the Pentagon network in December 2017, but "it's still unknown if Manning and Assange managed to hit the password."
The accusation against Assange confirmed an alleged agreement between Manning and Assange for the latter to help break a system that Manning did not have access to, although it did not specify whether investigators knew if the system was broken.
Investigators said they could reveal the alleged crime by obtaining hundreds of chats from March 2010 between Assange and Manning on Jabber, an instant messaging platform.
Brown also wrote in his affidavit that Manning and WikiLeaks "had reason to believe that disclosure of Afghanistan's war reports and Iraq war reports would cause harm to the United States." Brown said the war reports were made up of Manning and spread by Wikileaks "contained information describing potentially endangered US troops and Afghan civilians and US members." The reports contained potentially harmful identifying information on local allies on the ground that helped the US and coalition forces.
The decision also claimed that the Taliban exploited WikiLeaks' information to endanger US allies, referring to a New York Times article titled "Taliban Study WikiLeaks to Chase Informants". It also said the raid on Osama bin Laden's association in Abbottabad, Pakistan, showed that the terrorist was actively seeking information in the WikiLeaks information and that al-Qaeda gave him information from the leaked Afghanistan war reports. The Afghanistan war reports also contained specific information on improvised explosive device techniques and countermeasures that the Americans considered "the enemy could use these reports to plan future attacks," the statement said.
The criminal complaint rejected last week claimed Assange urged Manning to disclose large amounts of classified information to WikiLeaks. "These databases contain about 90,000 Afghanistan-war-related significant activity reports, 400,000 Iraq-related significant activity reports, 800 Guantanamo Bay prisoner assessment records and 250,000 US state-owned government cables," DOJ says.
Assange's lawyers say he plans to fight the extradition procedure in London, which could drag on for months or longer. It is likely that Assange could ultimately appeal to a higher UK court and perhaps to the European Court of Human Rights.
Manning, formerly known as Bradley, was convicted at a court of law in 2013 by leaking an act of documents to WikiLeaks. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Manning sent the command of former President Barack Obama just a few days before the end of his presidency in January 2017. Manning was recently arrested again after refusing to give a great testimony to the WikiLeaks case.