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article imageWikileaks publishing over half a million secret Saudi documents

By Alex Ritman     Jun 21, 2015 in Politics
The transparency advocacy website, Wikileaks, is publishing secret documents from the Saudi Foreign Ministry. Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has confirmed that Wikileaks is publishing these documents in batches.
As of Friday, the website had already released around 60,000 files. The total number of documents is going to be over half a million.
Assange said, “The Saudi Cables lift the lid on an increasingly erratic and secretive dictatorship that has not only celebrated its 100th beheading this year, but which has also become a menace to its neighbours and itself."
The Associated Press said that it has managed to authenticate only a handful of the published documents. Kristinn Hrafnsson, Wikileaks' spokesperson, said to AP that all documents are genuine.
The documents contain many secret communications from Saudi Embassies located around the world. Some of the published documents have a mark of “classified” or “urgent.” A lot of documents are also “top secret.”
A press release by Wikileaks, said the Saudi Cables provide important insights into the operations of the kingdom. It also reveals how Saudi Arabia has maintained its position as a superpower in the Middle East.
Some of the means used by Saudi include co-opting key institutions and individuals. Bribing is also commonplace in the practices of the kingdom.
The documents could shed new light on the longstanding Riyadh and Iran rivalry. A document dated back to 2012 highlights Saudi's skepticism of Iran's nuclear talks.
A message from Saudi's Abu Dhabi Embassy talked about the pressure the UAE was putting on Egypt's government. The pressure was to prevent the trial of Egypt's former president, Hosni Mubarak. In 2011, Hosni Mobarak, was overthrown by the people of Egypt in a famous uprising against the government.
It is not known how Wikileaks got hold of the documents. In its press release, Wikileaks, talks about a cyber attack on Saudi's Foreign Ministry. The attackers identified themselves as the Yemeni Cyber Army.
Hrafnsson has declined to elaborate further on this statement. He has also refused to confirm whether the group has passed on documents to the website or not.
More about Wikileaks, Julian Assange, Saudi arabia
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