On Monday afternoon, Al Jazeera announced that it had obtained “hundreds of secret intelligence documents from the world’s spy agencies” that will offer “an unprecedented insight into operational dealings of the shadowy and highly politicised realm of global espionage.” With help from The Guardian, Al Jazeera will release those insights in a series called “The Spy Cables.” Cinematic!
According to Al Jazeera, here’s what you can expect from the materials:
Spanning a period from 2006 until December 2014, they include detailed briefings and internal analyses written by operatives of South Africa’s State Security Agency (SSA). They also reveal the South Africans’ secret correspondence with the US intelligence agency, the CIA, Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, Russia’s FSB and Iran’s operatives, as well as dozens of other services from Asia to the Middle East and Africa.
Al Jazeera and The Guardian have already published several stories based on the “digital leak.” One indicates that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu purposely misled the United Nations in 2012, claiming that Iran was close to building a nuclear weapon when Mossad had, in fact, determined that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.” Another shows that a “desperate” CIA “tried to gain access to Hamas through backchannels despite a U.S. government ban on contact with the Palestinian Islamist movement.” And a third describes M16’s attempt to recruit a North Korean spy.
A YouTube trailer promises that the package will reveal plenty more “abuses of power and coverups carried out by the world’s intelligence agencies,” “unethical actions,” “secret front companies,” and “embarrassing security failures,” so stay tuned.