Founder claims Wikileaks is preparing to release video of Afghan strike

According to the Daily Beast, NPR and apparently Wikileaks itself, the organisation is preparing to release a video of a U.S. airstrike on a village in Afghanistan which caused civilian casualties.

In April, Wikileaks released footage of a U.S. Apache helicopter strike in Baghdad from 2007 in which two Reuters journalists and several Iraqi civilians were killed.

Since then, Adrian Lamo, a journalist and former hacker claims to have outed US intelligence analyst Brad Manning as the source of that and other leaks after the latter told Lamo about them in several online conversations.

An edited version of the chat logs was published by Wired recently. In the transcript Manning says: "I can’t believe what I’m confessing to you" and quite why he felt the need to inform Lamo remains something of a mystery.

Manning was detained by the US military and held in Kuwait, while Julian Assange, the public face of Wikileaks, will not confirm that Manning is a Wikileaks source. Assange is currently believed to be in hiding and NPR reports that he cancelled an appearance in Las Vegas.

In an interview recorded with BBC Radio 4 a few weeks ago, but which was broadcast today, Assange explained Wikileaks’ philosophy. He said the public need to know more about how the world operates before successful political agendas can be formulated to benefit the people.

He said the organisation has 5 full time staff, 800 or so volunteers that do some work during the year, and a wider network of 10,000 supporters.

But much remains unknown about an organisation that uses sophisticated encryption technology and claims to channel all its material through servers in Sweden because of the anonymity afforded under its press freedom act.   

Some commentators believe Wikileaks entered new territory with the video of the US helicopter strike – Collateral Murder – because of the way in which it was edited and that unlike the publication of other material it put a political spin on the video.