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FBI paid Wikileaks Informant Siggi for Betraying Assange

Julian Assange and Siggi (Sigurdur Thordarson) Julian Assange and Siggi (Sigurdur Thordarson)

Sigurður Ingi Thordarson (Siggi) was an informant for the FBI in 2011. It was on Siggi's own initiative that he contacted the US embassy in Iceland and offered to give them or the FBI information about Wikileaks, which he worked for at the time.

Wired wrote about Siggi's story Yesterday:

FBI agents and two federal prosecutors landed in a private Gulfstream on the next day, on August 24, and Thordarson was summoned back to the embassy.

He was met by the same embassy official who took his keys and his cell phone, then walked with him on a circuitous route through the streets of downtown Reykjavík, ending up at the Hotel Reykjavik Centrum, Thordarson says. There, Thordarson spent two hours in a hotel conference room talking to two FBI agents. Then they accompanied back to the embassy so he could put money in his parking meter, and back to the hotel for more debriefing.

The agents asked him about his Lulzsec interactions, but were primarily interested in what he could give them on WikiLeaks. One of them asked him if he could wear a recording device on his next visit to London and get Assange to say something incriminating, or talk about Bradley Manning.

Wanted to send Siggi wired to meet with Assange

“They asked what I use daily, have always on,” he says. “I said, my watch. So they said they could change that out for some recording watch.”

Thordarson says he declined. “I like Assange, even considered him a friend,” he says. “I just didn’t want to go that way.”

In all, Thordarson spent 20 hours with the agents over about five days. Then the Icelandic government ordered the FBI to pack up and go home.

It turns out the FBI had misled the local authorities about its purpose in the country. According to a timeline (.pdf) later released by the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police, the FBI contacted Icelandic law enforcement to report Thordarson’s embassy walk-in, and ask for permission to fly into the country to follow up. But the bureau had presented the request as an extension of its earlier investigation into Lulzsec, and failed to mention that its real target was WikiLeaks.

Siggi fired from Wikileaks for Fraud and Theft

In November 2011, Thordarson was fired from WikiLeaks. The organization had discovered he had set up an online WikiLeaks tee shirt store and arranged for the proceeds to go into his own bank account. WikiLeaks has said the embezzlement amounted to about $50,000.

Thordarson told the FBI about it in a terse email on November 8. “No longer with WikiLeaks — so not sure how I can help you more.”

“We’d still like to talk with you in person,” one of his handlers replied. “I can think of a couple of easy ways for you to help.”

“Can you guys help me with cash?” Thordarson shot back.

For the next few months, Thordarson begged the FBI for money, while the FBI alternately ignored him and courted him for more assistance. In the end, Thordarson says, the FBI agreed to compensate him for the work he missed while meeting with agents (he says he worked at a bodyguard-training school), totaling about $5,000.

Siggi brought personal hard drives to the FBI

On March 18, 2012, he had one more meeting with the FBI in Denmark. On this trip, he brought along eight of his personal hard drives, containing the information he’d compiled while at WikiLeaks, including his chat logs, photos and videos he shot at Ellington Hall. The FBI gave him a signed receipt for the hardware.

Then they cut him off.

 

Read the full story here!

Siggi Thordarson is facing several charges

Today, Thordarson, now 20, has new problems. He’s facing criminal charges in Iceland for unrelated financial and tax crimes. In addition, WikiLeaks filed a police report for the tee-shirt shop embezzlement.

Siggi was in custody earlier this month suspected  of comprehensive fraud. He is accused of stealing computer equipment for around ISK 700,000 ($5700, €7300) from a store in Reykjavik. "This is a serious web of decpetion", says the owner of the store. He also says that other companies were tricked by Siggi.

Siggi is said to have bought all the computer equipment under false pretenses, pretending to be a book publisher named Jóhann when he ordered the products. He then came to the store later, and picked up the stuff, in his own name. He paid for the first products to earn trust, and then stopped paying the bills.

"I'm literally being robbed" said the store owner.

The Icelandic Police says that many different parties have charged Siggi. For example Wikileaks and the Book Publisher which Siggi pretended to represent.

 

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Last modified on Friday, 28 June 2013 14:27

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