Army: Soldier in WikiLeaks case aided al Qaeda

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FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — A U.S. Army private aided al Qaeda by leaking hundreds of thousands of military and other government documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, military prosecutors said Thursday.

Pfc. Bradley Manning has been charged with aiding the enemy among a total of 22 counts, but on Thursday the military publicly identified the enemy Pfc. Manning’s alleged actions aided. The soldier and his attorneys were in a military courtroom at Fort Meade, near Baltimore, for two days of hearings in the case.

Military prosecutors say Pfc. Manning, a 24-year-old Oklahoma native, downloaded and transferred to WikiLeaks nearly a half-million sensitive battlefield reports. Defense lawyers say that Pfc. Manning was a troubled soldier who shouldn’t have had access to classified material and that the leaked material did little or no harm to national security.

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