WikiLeaks promises 'major announcement' Saturday in Europe
The WikiLeaks website has promised a "major announcement" in Europe on Saturday, in a message on its Twitter feed, amid speculation it will release thousands of secret documents about the Iraq war.
"Major WikiLeaks announcement in Europe at 10am tomorrow," said the message posted Friday, appearing to confirm the site is preparing to leak what the US military and NATO fear will be tens of thousands of classified military papers.
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned Friday that the lives of soldiers and civilians could be endangered if WikiLeaks released confidential documents.
"Such leaks are very unfortunate and may have very negative security implications for people concerned," Rasmussen said at a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
"Leaks may put soldiers as well as civilians at risk," he added.
The US Pentagon said last week a 120-strong taskforce was scouring an Iraq war database to prepare for potential fallout from an expected release by WikiLeaks of some 400,000 secret military reports.
It appealed to the media to avoid facilitating the leak of documents regarding Iraq.
"News organisations should be cautioned not to facilitate the leaking of classified documents with this disreputable organisation known as WikiLeaks," Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said.
The whistleblower website published 77,000 classified US military documents on the war in Afghanistan in July and is expected to publish another 15,000.
The documents on Afghanistan, revealing details of civilian victims and supposed links between Pakistan and the Taliban insurgents, infuriated the Pentagon.
Human rights groups were also worried that the names of Afghans aiding US forces had not been erased, laying them open to reprisals.
© 2010 AFP