The Pentagon has been accused of spying on a whistleblower website that specialises in leaking top secret documents.
The US Army has already deemed Wikileaks a security threat to military operations. That much is known because the organization posted the classified 2008 report from the Army Counterintelligence Center on its own site earlier this month.
The report also called for an investigation into Wikileaks to track down moles and demanded prosecutions to scare potential informants from contacting the organisation.
But now Wikileaks - which won Amnesty International’s new media award last year - has issued a flurry of Tweets claiming its editors are already being investigated.
Judging from the messages, the site believes the probe is linked to its plan to make public unencrypted footage of an air strike in Afghanistan on May 7 last year that killed 97 civilians.
The Pentagon reportedly planned to release the video, but back-pedalled after it allegedly turned out to be more incriminating than at first thought.
Wikileaks has promised to reveal a ‘Pentagon Murder Cover-up’ at the National Press Club in Washington on April 5, although it hasn’t offered any further information about the event.
The most recent Wikileaks Tweets, in chronological order, read:
* WikiLeaks is currently under an aggressive US and Icelandic surveillance operation. Following/photographing/filming/detaining.
* If anything happens to us, you know why: it is our Apr 5 film. And you know who is responsible.
* Two under State Dep diplomatic cover followed our editor from Iceland to http://skup.no on Thursday.
* One related person was detained for 22 hours. Computer’s seized.That’s http://www.skup.no
* We know our possession of the decrypted airstrike video is now being discussed at the highest levels of US command.
* If you know more about the operations against us, contact https://secure.wikileaks.org/
* We have been shown secret photos of our production meetings and been asked specific questions during detention related to the airstrike.
* We have airline records of the State Dep/CIA tails. Don’t think you can get away with it. You cannot. This is WikiLeaks.
* To those worrying about us – we’re fine, and will issue a suitable riposte shortly.’
The Icelandic link is thought to involve Wikileaks involvement in helping to draft legislation that would help make the country a safe haven for investigative journalists by passing the strongest combination of source protection, freedom of speech and libel tourism protection laws in the world.
The site, run by a nine-person board, aims to expose corruption and wrongdoing in the public and private sector by providing the opportunity for people to leak documents without giving themselves away.
Documents Wikileak have leaked in the past include emails hacked from former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s private account, pager messages from 9/11,controversial emails from climate change scientists and operating guidelines for Guantanamo Bay.
Leaks that might have particularly infuriated the US Defence Department included the site’s publication in 2007 of almost the entire order of battle for American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Governments like North Korea and Thailand have also tried to prevent access to the non-profit site, claiming it was revealing information criticising their policies.
The Defence Department had no comment last night.