WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department unveiled 17 new criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday, saying he unlawfully published the names of classified sources and conspired with and assisted ex-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in obtaining access to classified information.
The superseding indictment comes a little more than a month after the Justice Department unsealed a narrower criminal case against Assange.
Assange was initially charged with conspiring with Manning to gain access to a government computer as part of a 2010 leak by WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of U.S. military reports about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Wikileaks describes itself as specializing in the publication of "censored or otherwise restricted official materials involving war, spying and corruption."
Assange is now fighting extradition to the United States, after Ecuador in April revoked his seven-year asylum in the country's London embassy. He was arrested that day, April 11, by British police as he left the embassy.
He is now serving a 50-week sentence in a London jail for skipping bail when he fled to the Ecuadorean embassy in 2012.
The decision to charge Assange with espionage crimes is notable, and unusual. Most cases involving the theft of classified information have targeted government employees, like Manning, and not the people who publish the information itself.
The Justice Department's quick turn-around with the filing of a more substantial indictment against Assangeis not surprising.
Under extradition rules, the United States had only a 60-day window from the date of Assange's arrest in London to add more charges. After that, foreign governments do not generally accept superseding charges.
U.S. Cyber Command is reportedly going on offense against Russia's power grid by placing "potentially crippling malware" in its systems, The New York Times reported Saturday.
The cyber incursions, authorized to Cyber Command under new authorities that do not require presidential approval, have gotten more "aggressive" and seem to be a warning that the U.S. can respond to Moscow's past cyberattacks, such as the 2016 incursion into the Democratic National Committee and its attack on Ukraine's power grid.
DUBAI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers at the entrance to the Gulf and said it was seeking international consensus about the threat to shipping, despite Tehran denying involvement in the explosions at sea.
The Navy has named a female president of the U.S. Naval War College for the first time in its history just days after ousting her predecessor amid allegations of excess spending and inappropriate behavior.