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CIA Secretly ‘Hunting’ Assange Activists, Bombshell Report Suggests

© AP Photo / Carolyn KasterThis April 13, 2016 file photo shows the seal of the Central Intelligence Agency at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va.
This April 13, 2016 file photo shows the seal of the Central Intelligence Agency at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.03.2023
From late-night break-ins, to secretly installing devices to remotely monitor computer activity, to death threats and bizarre mind games meant to disorient and demoralize their targets, it seems little is off-limits when it comes to the push to neutralize the support network that’s cropped up around Assange since his imprisonment.
Activists, lawyers and journalists linked to WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange are being subjected to extensive surveillance and intimidation, an explosive new report has detailed.
Individuals have been hacked, tracked, burglarized, threatened with death, and thrown in jails for years on dubious charges. And while the identity of the perpetrators has yet to be conclusively proven, victims say it’s clear who’s behind the campaign of harassment and spying: the Central Intelligence Agency.
In a recent interview with a German outlet, hacker and internet neutrality activist Andy Müller-Maguhn — who links the incidents to the CIA’s classification of WikiLeaks as “hostile” in 2017 — condemned the tactics as “intimidation surveillance” by US intelligence agencies and their collaborators abroad, saying “the point all these years has been to [make it] abundantly clear: We're out to get you.”
Müller-Maguhn, whose phone was reportedly physically tapped with a Field Programmable Gate Array carrying US-made chips and which “cannot be detected with a normal frequency locator,” was just one of many apparent victims targeted by the CIA for their association with WikiLeaks.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange supporters hold placards as they gather outside Westminster Magistrates court In London, Wednesday, April 20, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.01.2023
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After the groundbreaking website was labeled a “hostile intelligence agency” by then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo in 2017, those in Assange’s orbit reported the unnerving tactics weren’t far behind. By declaring WikiLeaks not to be a journalistic outlet but rather an enemy intelligence service, the CIA gave itself permission to take the gloves off, and a former senior counterintelligence official later told US media that “there seemed to be no boundaries” anymore.
Assange’s lawyer, Aitor Martínez, acknowledged it is technically possible that it’s simply a coincidence so many of Assange’s cohorts began reporting being stalked and harassed by Americans at the same time, but he asks: “who could believe that?”
“It's a vendetta against Julian Assange,” he reportedly explained. For his team, “there is no question that Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks organization, and everyone surrounding Julian are being systematically monitored and intimidated - whether supporters, journalists, lawyers or family members."
Martínez himself is reportedly no stranger to the unsavory activities of US intelligence services.
Having served as Assange’s legal counsel for the better part of a decade, he also described a series of unsettling events which indicate he’s being monitored and harassed by the CIA.
Shortly after Pompeo declared WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence agency,” Martínez said his wife was accosted by a stranger in the streets of the Paraguayan capital, who grabbed her by the arm and whispered to her in English, “Watch your cellphone!”
Immediately afterwards, 230 screenshots of photos, private emails, and text messages suddenly appeared on her cellphone — apparently sent from Martínez's phone, which he says he hadn't touched.
“Then, when we left in a hurry, a man with a plug in his ear followed us at the airport, waving a friendly goodbye,” he added.
A sign in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sits near a camp set up by protesters outside Woolwich Crown Court, ahead of a hearing to decide whether Assange should be extradited to the United States, in London, Britain February 25, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2020
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His harassers didn’t stop there, though. Martínez says they’ve since broken into both his office and apartment in Madrid.
He reportedly has surveillance footage showing three masked men enter his place of work in the dead of night in December 2017. According to the footage, the burglars spent six minutes searching for something they’re apparently unable to find, before stealing a leg of ham from the kitchen.
“I have handled many delicate cases in my life,” Martínez noted. “I've been threatened, sometimes even by the police. But I've never experienced this level of intimidation.”
He says the fact that the perpetrators appear to be acting at the direction of the CIA shows why it’s so worrisome Assange could be extradited to the US, which has repeatedly insisted the jailed WikiLeaks founder will receive a fair trial.
As Martínez asks: “what are US assurances actually worth after all this?”
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