WikiLeaks Revealing 500,000 Saudi Documents

WikiLeaks Revealing 500,000 Saudi DocumentsWikiLeaks Revealing 500,000 Saudi Documents

WikiLeaks is in the process of publishing more than 500,000 Saudi diplomatic documents to the Internet, the transparency website said Friday, a move that echoes its famous release of US State Department cables in 2010.

WikiLeaks said in a statement that it has already posted roughly 60,000 files. Most of them appear to be in Arabic.

There was no immediate way to verify the authenticity of the documents, although WikiLeaks has a long track record of hosting large-scale leaks of government material.

Many of the documents carried green letterhead marked “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” or “Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” Some were marked “urgent” or “classified.” At least one appeared to be from the Saudi Embassy in Washington, AP reported.

If genuine, the documents would offer a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the kingdom. They might also shed light on Riyadh’s longstanding regional rivalry, its support for Syrian rebels, Egypt’s military-backed government, and its opposition to an emerging international agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program.

One of the documents, dated 2012, appears to highlight Saudi Arabia’s well-known skepticism about Iran nuclear talks.

Another 2012 missive, this time sent from the Saudi Embassy in Abu Dhabi, said the UAE was putting “heavy pressure” on the Egyptian government not to try former president Hosni Mubarak, who had been overthrown in a popular uprising the year before.

Also in an August 14, 2008 message marked “classified and very urgent,” the Saudi foreign ministry wrote to the Saudi Embassy in Washington to warn that dozens of students from Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries had visited the Israeli Embassy in the US capital as part of an international leadership program.

Another eye-catching item was a document addressed to the interior and justice ministers notifying them that a son of Osama bin Laden had obtained a certificate from the American Embassy in Riyadh “showing the death of his father.”

WikiLeaks said the release coincided with the three-year anniversary of its founder, Julian Assange, seeking asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.