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US Looking Into New Anonymous Threat

March 9, 2011

 A request for an investigation into a hacker group’s reported cyber threat against a military base being used to hold a US soldier suspected of leaking secret documents to Wikileaks was made by the Pentagon on Tuesday.

Colonel David Lapan, spokesman for the Pentagon, said the investigation was called for after news surfaced that a hacker group called Anonymous sought to disrupt online activities at the Quantico, Virginia base where Private Bradley Manning is being held.

He said the base and the brig “are aware of that and they have made law enforcement agencies aware of that as well.”

Manning has been held at the base since July. He is being held under a maximum security regimen because authorities say his escape would pose a risk to national security. He faces numerous charges of stealing classified documents and is suspected as the source of the documents released to Wikileaks in recent months, which have angered and embarrassed the US government.

Military authorities brought more charges against Manning last week, accusing him of illegally downloading secret government files and “aiding the enemy.”

Manning’s defense team filed a legal complaint against the military over the conditions of his imprisonment at Quantico, which includes a “prevention of injury” watch, which his lawyers said includes being forced to sleep nude.

Manning’s supporters say the treatment is inhumane. Psychiatric experts added that the regimen is unnecessary.

Wikileaks has yet to disclose its source for the US military and diplomatic documents published, but the military have focused their suspicions on Manning, who worked as a low-ranking army intelligence analyst in Iraq.

There is no date set for a trial, but if convicted, Manning faces up to 52 years in prison.

The hacker group Anonymous staged cyber attacks on websites of Visa, Master Card, PayPal, and others in December, accusing them of withdrawing their services to Wikileaks. 

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