[QODLink]
Americas

Ex-US general under investigation for leaks

Reports say retired general is being probed for leaks linked to 2010 cyber attack on Iran's nuclear programme.

Last Modified: 28 Jun 2013 08:49
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

One of the highest ranking military officers in the US is under investigation for allegedly leaking top secret information about a cyber attack on Iran's nuclear programme, according to reports.

NBC news channel reported on Thursday that retired General James Cartwright, a former second-highest-ranking officer, was under investigation for leaking information on a covert computer virus, called Stuxnet.

The virus was used in 2010 to temporarily disable 1,000 centrifuges used for enriching uranium by Iran's nuclear facilities.

Cartwright, who was the number two person in the joint chiefs of staff from 2007 to 2011, was instrumental in the development of Stuxnet, and his role was publicised in a New York Times article published last year.

The article exposed that the virus was the Obama administration's key weapon against Iran's nuclear weapons programme.

President Barack Obama responded to the article sternly: "My attitude has been zero tolerance for these kinds of leaks. These are criminal acts when they release information like this."

Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan, reporting from Washington DC, said that there was ongoing speculation about Cartwright's motive behind the leaks.

"It's simply a stunning development when you consider that the Obama administration has always said that 'people who leak are going to be prosecuted if we figure out who they are.'"

Steve Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists, told NBC that "there are many reasons why people leak classified information".

"Sometimes to attack a programme, sometimes to defend it, sometimes we don't ever know," he said.

According to NBC, Stuxnet is capable of both surveillance and harming computers, and was initally spread using infected removable drives.

Neither Cartwright nor his lawyer responded to requests for comment, reported NBC.

281

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Assam officials upset that WWII-era Stillwell Road won't be used in transnational highway linking four Asian nations.
Informal health centres are treating thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey, easing the pressure on local hospitals.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Wastewater ponds dot the landscape in US states that produce gas; environmentalists say they’re a growing threat.
China President Xi Jinping's Mongolia visit brings accords in the areas of culture, energy, mining and infrastructure.
join our mailing list