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CIA plays down impact of Wikileaks' domestic terrorism document

Wikileaks posts an internal CIA report asking how the world would react if the US ‘exported’ terrorism.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says his site helps the public to understand the inner workings of American security forces.
Image: Bertil Ericson/SCANPIX/AP

THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (CIA) has played down the significance of a document posted to the Wikileaks website which asks how foreign countries would react if the United States was to ‘export’ terrorism.

The three-page document, written in February and posted to the website yesterday, asked ‘What If Foreigners See the United States as an Exporter of Terrorism’ and examines the potential reaction of the international community if American citizens were to perpetrate a terrorist act, either within or outside of the country’s borders.

The document is labelled “secret”, one step short of the CIA’s ‘top secret’ ranking for its most sensitive documents. The CIA has moved to assure the press that the leaked document is not one of massive importance, however.

This is not a blockbuster paper,” an American intelligence official told CNN, though admitting that “it’s always disturbing when classified information is inappropriately disclosed.”

The CIA’s official spokesman, George Little, explained that the document was “clearly identified as coming from the agency’s ‘Red Cell’” and was “designed to simply provoke thought and present different points of view.”

The document, which cites Irish-American financial support for the IRA as an example of exported terrorism, suggested that foreign countries would request information from the US on people they believed to be terrorists, with those governments refusing to allow American to ‘extract’ terrorists from their countries if it refused to comply.

In some cases, it supposed, a refusal to cooperate would lead to other countries secretly extracting American citizens from US soil in order to detain them for questioning.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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