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Anonymous posts audio of FBI, Scotland Yard call
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Feb 3, 2012

US Army approves WikiLeaks suspect's court martial
Washington (AFP) Feb 3, 2012 - The US Army said in a statement Friday that it had approved a recommendation that Bradley Manning be court-martialed for allegedly funneling hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks.

The decision clears the way to set a date for Manning, a private with the Army, to face a host of charges, including that he aided the enemy and wrongfully caused intelligence to be openly published on the Internet.

"A military judge will be detailed by the US Army Trial Judiciary and that military judge will set the date for Manning's arraignment, motion hearings and trial," the army statement said.

Manning is also accused of stealing public property or records, transmitting defense information and of committing computer fraud.

A US investigating officer last month concluded that the 24-year-old soldier should be court-martialed because "reasonable grounds exist to believe that the accused committed the offenses alleged."

That recommendation followed a seven-day pre-trial hearing in December to determine if there was sufficient evidence for him to face trial.

If convicted, Manning could be sentenced to life in prison for what authorities have described as one of the most serious intelligence breaches in US history.

Trained on various intelligence systems, the Oklahoma soldier served in Iraq from November 2009 until his arrest the following May.

He is accused of giving WikiLeaks a massive trove of US military reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, 260,000 classified State Department cables, Guantanamo detainee assessments and videos of US air strikes.

Hacker group Anonymous, in an embarrassment for law enforcement, released a recording Friday of a conference call between the FBI and Scotland Yard discussing operations against the hacking collective.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed the authenticity of the nearly 17-minute recording posted on YouTube and other sites and said it was "intended for law enforcement officers only and was illegally obtained.

"A criminal investigation is under way to identify and hold accountable those responsible," the FBI said in a statement.

The release of the audio recording was one in a series of attacks on Friday by the shadowy loose-knit group of international hackers.

Members of Anonymous also attacked the website of the Greek justice ministry in a protest against the country's tough fiscal reforms and a site operated by the Boston Police Department.

In addition, members of the hacker group defaced the website of the law firm that defended a US Marine who faced charges in connection with the 2005 killing of 24 Iraqi civilians.

Anonymous, in a statement on the website of the law firm of Puckett and Faraj, also claimed to have published online three gigabytes of private email messages of attorneys Neal Puckett and Haytham Faraj.

Puckett served as a lawyer for Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, who faced a court martial last month in connection with the killings in the Iraqi town of Haditha.

Wuterich, 31, admitted one count of negligent dereliction of duty but manslaughter charges were dropped as part of a plea deal with prosecutors and he is not serving any jail time.

Along with the FBI-Scotland Yard audio recording, Anonymous posted online the January 13 email invitation from an FBI agent setting up the call for January 17.

The email invites members of European law enforcement agencies to take part in a conference call "to discuss the on-going investigations related to Anonymous, Lulzsec, Antisec, and other associated splinter groups."

The email was sent to law enforcement officials in Britain, France, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden but the only people who identify themselves on the call are from the FBI and Scotland Yard.

The email includes the number to be called along with the access code.

In a message on Twitter, Anonymous posted links to the audio recording and said the FBI "might be curious how we're able to continuously read their internal comms for some time now."

According to the FBI, no agency computer systems were breached in connection with the incident.

Graham Cluley of computer security firm Sophos said the hackers were apparently able to access the call "because they have compromised a police investigator's email account."

"No doubt the police authorities will be appalled to realize that the very people that they are trying to apprehend, could have been tuning in to their internal conversations," Cluley said in a blog post.

During the call, the British and American participants discuss some of the targets of their operations including Jake Davis and Ryan Cleary, two British teenagers who were arrested last year over hacking.

Other names mentioned during the call are bleeped out.

Davis is charged with hacking into websites, including that of Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency, which was out of service for several hours on June 20 after apparently being targeted.

Cleary was detained in connection with a month-long global rampage last year by the Anonymous splinter group Lulz Security.

At one point in the call, a British participant thanks his American counterpart for helping out with an examination of Cleary's hard drive.

Later, a British participant mentions a hacker from West Midlands who goes by the handle "tehwongz."

"He's a 15-year-old who's basically just doing this all for attention and a bit of an idiot," he said, going on to describe him as "a pain in the bum."

Last month, Anonymous briefly knocked the FBI and Justice Department websites offline in retaliation for the US shutdown of file-sharing site Megaupload.

In late 2010, Anonymous attacked the websites of Amazon, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and others in retaliation for their decisions to stop working with Julian Assange's anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks.

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Hackers deface website of lawyers for US Marine
Washington (AFP) Feb 3, 2012 - Members of the hacker group Anonymous defaced the website on Friday of the law firm that defended a US Marine who faced charges in connection with the 2005 killing of 24 Iraqi civilians.

Anonymous, in a statement which appeared on the website of the law firm of Puckett and Faraj, also claimed to have published online three gigabytes of private email messages of attorneys Neal Puckett and Haytham Faraj.

"The contents of these email messages include detailed records, transcripts, testimony, trial evidence, and legal defense donation records pertaining to not only Frank Wuterich but also many other marines they have represented," Anonymous said.

Puckett served as the lead defense lawyer for Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, who faced a US military court martial last month in connection with the killings in the Iraqi town of Haditha.

Wuterich, 31, admitted one count of negligent dereliction of duty but manslaughter charges were dropped as part of a plea deal.

Wuterich, who led an eight-man squad whose other members have all been let off, was sentenced to 90 days of confinement and reduced in rank to private but will serve no jail time under the deal with prosecutors.

Anonymous, in the statement on the puckettfaraj.com website, said it wanted to bring attention to the "brutality of US imperialism."

"Can you believe this (expletive deleted) had his charges reduced to involuntary manslaughter and got away with only a pay cut?" it said.

"Meanwhile Bradley Manning who was brave enough to risk his life and freedom to expose the truth about government corruption is threatened with life imprisonment," the group said in a reference to the US soldier accused of leaking classified US documents to WikiLeaks.

A receptionist who answered the phone at Puckett and Faraj said the firm's website was now offline. She said there would be no immediate statement about the hacking incident.

Following the Wuterich verdict, Ali Mussawi, spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, said "the punishment is not suitable with the crime that was committed."

"We will keep pursuing the legal channels to fight for the rights of our citizens who were victims of indiscriminate shooting, without having committed any sins," Mussawi said.

The hacking of the Puckett and Faraj website was announced shortly after Anonymous released a recording on YouTube of a conference call between FBI and Scotland Yard agents discussing operations against the hacker group.


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Turkey investigates army's 2007 'e-coup'
Ankara (AFP) Feb 2, 2012
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