BBC News | 25 August 2010 | 19:40 GMT
Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has published a CIA memo examining the implications of the US being perceived as an “exporter of terrorism”. The three-page report from February 2010 says the participation of US-based individuals in terrorism is “not a recent phenomenon”. The memo cites several cases of alleged terrorist acts by US residents. An official played down the report from the CIA’s so-called Red Cell, saying it was “not exactly a blockbuster paper”. The Red Cell was set up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to offer an “out-of-the-box” approach and “produce memos intended to provoke thought rather than to provide authoritative assessment”, the CIA website says. CIA spokesman George Little said: “These sorts of analytic products – clearly identified as coming from the Agency’s ‘Red Cell’ – are designed simply to provoke thought and present different points of view.”
The report, which highlights attacks by US-based or US-ﬁnanced Jewish, Muslim and Irish-American terrorists, questions how foreign perceptions of the US could change with continued attacks. “Much attention has been paid recently to the increasing occurrence of American-grown Islamic terrorists conducting attacks against US targets, primarily in the homeland. Less attention has been paid to homegrown terrorism, not exclusively Muslim terrorists, exported overseas to target non-US persons,” the report says. The memo, titled What If Foreigners See the United States as an ‘Exporter of Terrorism’?, concludes that if the US is perceived by other nations as an “exporter of terrorism”, those countries may be less willing to co-operate with the US in the detention, transfer and interrogation of future suspects.
Wikileaks on 23 July published 76,000 secret US military logs detailing military actions in Afghanistan, an act the US authorities described as highly irresponsible. The website now says it will release 15,000 further sensitive documents, once it has completed a review aimed at minimising the risk that their publication could put people’s lives in danger.