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'Whistleblower' transferred to US
Soldier charged with handing over classified documents flown to US to face trial.
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2010 03:44 GMT
Bradley Manning has been charged with leaking a gruesome 2007 military video to WikiLeaks [AFP]

The US army intelligence specialist accused of handing a secret military video to Wikileaks website has been moved from Kuwait to Quantic Marine base in the US, the US military has said.

Private first class Bradley Manning, 22, arrived at the military base in Virginia on Thursday night where he will be held while awaiting trial for leaking military intelligence, after he was transfered from Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, the army said in a statement on Friday.   

Manning currently faces four charges related to allegations that he released classified video showing a 2007 US Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, that killed several people.

In addition to leaking the video, Manning reportedly claimed to have downloaded more than 150,000 diplomatic cables.

The intelligence specialist is also suspected of possible involvement in the massive leak of more than 92,000 classified military files releated to the war in Afghanistan.

'Life in prison'

Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan, reporting from Washington, said that Manning could potentially face the death penalty if he is convicted with leaking the Afghan information in addition to the Iraq video.

In Depth

 Video shows 'US attack on Iraqis'
 Why the world needs WikiLeaks

"Certainly he [could be] looking at life in a military prison in the US" if convicted, she said.  

The Pentagon and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have launched an investigation into the leak of Afghanistan documents while US leaders and Hamid Karzai, the Afghan presiden, have condemned the leak.

In a statement, the defence department said Manning was transfered to the US "due to a potentially lengthy pre-trail confinement because of the complexity of the charges and an ongoing investigation."

Our correspondent said that the US military wants to use Manning to send a message to future whistleblowers.

"If you violate the trust of security clearance, you will be prosecuted," she said.  

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has called Manning a "political prisoner" and alleged that the US kept him in detention in Kuwait to render him "incommunicado".

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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