US military prosecutors accuse 'WikiLeaks suspect' Bradley Manning of helping Osama

Melbourne, June 4 (ANI): Bradley Manning has been accused by US military prosecutors of helping the Al-Qaeda by funnelling a horde of secret files to WikiLeaks at the start of his trial.

The 25-year-old US army private faces a possible 154-year jail sentence for his role in the biggest leak of classified information in American history, when a vast cache of information was passed to the whistle-blowing website, reports Sbs.com.au.

Manning confirmed he pleads guilty to 10 charges against him but not the most serious one - aiding the enemy, chiefly al-Qaeda - which could see him spend the rest of his life in prison.

According to prosecutors, from November 2009 until his arrest in May 2010, Manning gave WikiLeaks about 700,000 classified military logs from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as diplomatic cables from around the world.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Captain Joe Morrow said Manning had passed on information to WikiLeaks despite knowing it would be used by late al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and his terror network.

Searches of Manning's computer following his arrest in 2010 proved the soldier was aware of the "consequences of his actions," Morrow said.

Morrow said Manning knew al-Qaeda used WikiLeaks, and added that Bin Laden was known to scour classified US reports from Afghanistan.

Morrow said Manning was in regular contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to determine the most valuable kinds of information.

He had also provided WikiLeaks with the email addresses of more than 74,000 service members in Iraq, including, names, ranks and positions, Morrow said.

In one period, Manning had "systematically harvested" more than 250,000 US State Department cables subsequently released by WikiLeaks.

The trial is expected to last 12 weeks. (ANI)

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