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Dow said in a written statement that “major companies are often required to take appropriate action to protect their people and safeguard their facilities,” adding that it operated within the law.

The reports prepared for Dow appeared to be little more than roundups of news stories and Internet chatter, but Stratfor also boasts of more serious sources.

One leaked email quotes Stratfor Vice President of Intelligence Fred Burton bragging about his “trusted former CIA cronies.” In another, he promises to “see what I can uncover” about a classified FBI investigation.

Messages left for Burton weren’t immediately returned. Stratfor has speculated that some of the leaked emails may have been altered or forged, although the firm did not provide any evidence of tampering. Anonymous said in a Twitter message that the suggestion of forgery was “pathetic.”

Another Stratfor email warned about letting people know too much about how the company operated.

“I think showing too much of our inner workings devalues our Mystique,” the email said. “People don’t know how we collect our intelligence and that’s one of the cool, mysterious things about STRATFOR.”

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Associated Press writers Paul Weber in San Antonio, Texas and David Rising in Berlin contributed to this report.

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Online:

WikiLeaks: http://wikileaks.org/

Stratfor: http://www.stratfor.com/

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Raphael Satter can be reached at: http://twitter.com/razhael

Cassandra Vinograd can be reached at: http://twitter.com/CassVinograd