Manning Trial: Prosecution Works to Prove Al Qaeda Used WikiLeaks

Vital to trying to prove that he aided the enemy


The US government is seeking to bolster its case against Bradley Manning, the source of the largest leak of state secrets in American history, by presenting the soldier's trial with evidence that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida used the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks and the wider internet as a research and propaganda tool.

As the prosecution approaches the end of its case, government lawyers presented the trial judge, Colonel Denise Lind, with testimony and statements of fact that attempted to underline al-Qaida's familiarity with the web and WikiLeaks specifically. The effort speaks to the most serious "aiding the enemy" charge against Manning in which the prosecution must prove that by passing classified material to WikiLeaks the soldier knowingly gave potentially damaging intelligence to US enemies.

Prosecutors read into the trial record a statement already discussed in court, that reveals that the al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden personally asked for WikiLeaks material to be provided to him. Bin Laden wrote a letter to an assistant requesting that he gather the material, and in response was sent battlefield reports from Afghanistan, known as the Afghan warlogs, as well as some of the embassy cables published by WikiLeaks.