Witness: Manning WikiLeaks Breach Helped al-Qaida Recruiting

Image: Witness: Manning WikiLeaks Breach Helped al-Qaida Recruiting

Thursday, 08 Aug 2013 03:50 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Soldier Bradley Manning's release of secret files to WikiLeaks in the biggest breach of classified data in the nation's history helped al-Qaida's recruiting efforts, an expert on radical Islam testified on Thursday.

The militant group used Manning's releases to claim that "the United States does not value human life," particularly among Muslims, said Navy Commander Youssef Aboul-Enein, an adviser to the Pentagon's Joint Intelligence Task Force for Combating Terrorism.

Manning, 25-year-old Army private first class, was convicted last week on 19 charges for providing more than 700,000 diplomatic cables, battlefield videos and other classified data to the WikiLeaks pro-transparency website.

His court-martial has moved into a sentencing phase, with prosecutors trying to persuade Judge Colonel Denise Lind to impose a lengthy sentence. He could face up to 90 years in prison on the counts Lind found him guilty of.

Manning's defense attorneys will also have an opportunity to call their own witnesses in coming days.

Testifying for the prosecution, Aboul-Enein said al-Qaida used a video Manning had provided to WikiLeaks of a U.S. helicopter gunship in 2007 firing at suspected insurgents in Baghdad. A dozen people were killed, including two Reuters news staff.

The helicopter also fired at a truck in which a child was seated, seriously wounding him.

Al-Qaida used the video to demonstrate to Muslims that "this could be your child," Aboul-Enein said.

Under questioning by defense lawyer Major Thomas Hurley, Aboul-Enein said propaganda had long been a central function of al-Qaida unrelated to WikiLeaks.

"So if it wasn't WikiLeaks, it would be something else?" Hurley asked.

"Yes," Aboul-Enein said. He added that since a 2011 al-Qaida video, the group's leadership had been largely silent about the leaked documents.

Aboul-Enein, the day's only witness, also said al-Qaida had not claimed any tactical successes because of the WikiLeaks information.

Manning was a low-level Army intelligence analyst when he leaked files to WikiLeaks while serving in Iraq in 2010. He was convicted of charges that include theft and espionage and faces up to 90 years in prison when his sentencing hearing concludes, which is expected later this month.

Manning was found not guilty of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy. His lawyers portrayed the slightly built soldier as naive but well intentioned, and argued that his aim was to provoke a broader debate on U.S. military policy.

Manning's court-martial has drawn international scrutiny, and the trove of documents he provided catapulted WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, into the spotlight.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Obama Sought Immigration Order for 'Fullest Extent' of His Legal Authority

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 22:11 PM

Months before his landmark announcement about executive action on immigration, President Barack Obama entered into disc . . .

Rick Perry Revs Up Campaign for 2016

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 21:33 PM

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will spend his last month in office meeting with more than 500 major GOP bundlers and donors in De . . .

Pope Francis Heads to Istanbul in Symbolic Visit

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 21:21 PM

Pope Francis on Saturday heads to Istanbul for the second leg of his first trip to Turkey, in a richly-symbolic visit se . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved