Syrian Leader Assad’s Private Emails LeakedBy: Zach Walton - March 14, 2012
Syria has been in shambles these past few months as violence has rocked the Middle Eastern nation. A lot of the blame has been placed on its leader, Bashar al-Assad, for allowing the bloodshed and countless civilian deaths to continue. In what may be the first blow against the leader, emails sent between him and his wife were leaked online today.
The Guardian obtained exclusive access to the emails that were allegedly obtained by the Supreme Council of the Revolution, a group within Syria that’s fighting Assad and his forces. The emails contain information on Assad’s private life and information on the current events in Syria.
In a move pulled straight out of a spy thriller, the emails were obtained when a mole within Assad’s inner circle obtained his username and password. This allowed the opposition movement to track Assad’s movements against them for several months until the leak was discovered in February.
The emails paint a picture of a leader that’s wholly disinterested in the rebellion that’s currently rocking his nation. It’s said that he and his wife have spent thousands of dollars on frivolities like chandeliers from Paris and gadgets like the iPad.
Some of the more interesting facts pulled from the emails and reported by the Guardian include Assad being offered exile from Qatar and that he sidestepped US sanctions by using a third party with a US address to purchase songs off of iTunes.
Iran is brought up as well since it appears that the country gave Assad tips on how to go about striking down the resistance. Iran has never been shy of letting the world know it doesn’t like its citizens, or their right to the Internet for that matter, that it’s no surprise that Assad went to them for advice.
One of the more interesting things pulled from the emails is the use of social media by Assad’s regime to downplay the opposition. It’s reported that Assad’s has two US-educated media advisors who have used social media in their favor to dupe CNN into reporting pro-regime information. It was also reported that his media advisors talked Twitter into shutting down fake Syrian regime accounts.
Anonymous has been one of the most outspoken supporters of the opposition movement in Syria and the group is celebrating this recent leak.
— Jackal ۞ Chacal(@JackalAnon) March 14, 2012
Congrats to the Syrian opposition Supreme Council of the Revolution who hacked and leaked Assad regime emails today! Much love.
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) March 14, 2012
Anonymous has already been deeply involved with the current events in Syria with their #OpSyria campaign. While this sounds like the usual DDoS attack campaign, which there were a few, it went beyond that. Anonymous members raised money to buy medical supplies and treat the wounded in Syria. The team apparently made it into Syria on March 11 and are currently attending to the wounded.
— PLF (@PLF2012) March 11, 2012
It remains to be seen if Anonymous had any hand in helping the SCR distribute the emails to the Guardian for publication, but they are still fighting for Syria’s freedom even if they weren’t directly involved with this particular event.
You can track Anonymous’ fight to help Syria with the #OpSyria hashtag.[Lead image courtesy of watchsmart/flickr]