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WikiLeaks Begins Release Of 2.4 Million Emails Linked To Syrian Officials

Saying that "the material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria's opponents," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his aides today said they have more than 2.4 million emails "from Syrian political figures, ministries and associated companies."

According to The Associated Press, "WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison told journalists at London's Frontline Club that the emails reveal interactions between the Syrian government and Western companies, although she declined to go into much further detail. ... WikiLeaks posted only a handful of the documents to its website Thursday, but the disclosure — whose source WikiLeaks has not made clear — wouldn't be the first major leak of Syrian emails."

The whistle-blowing website said today that:

"Over the next two months, ground-breaking stories derived from the files will appear in WikiLeaks (global), Al Akhbar (Lebanon), Al Masry Al Youm (Egypt), ARD (Germany), Associated Press (US), L'Espresso (Italy), Owni (France) and Publico.es (Spain). Other publications will announce themselves closer to their publishing date."

Assange, by the way, remains "holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in a bid to gain asylum," as The Daily Beast puts it. He's trying to avoid being extradited from the U.K. to Sweden, where he's wanted for questioning about two alleged sexual assaults. Assange has said he's innocent of any wrongdoing and that the extradition attempt is a back-door effort to eventually get him sent to the U.S., which he believes wants to prosecute him for earlier leaks of classified information.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.