Julian Assange

The emails reportedly contain privileged information about Wikileaks and founder Julian Assange

Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA

WikiLeaks has started to publish the first of millions of emails from US-based "global intelligence" provider Stratfor, having established an "investigative partnership" with media outlets worldwide.

In an announcement on its website, the whistleblowers' website said the emails relate to "the inner workings" of the company as well as "privileged information" about the US government, WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. WikiLeaks claims "there are more than 4,000 emails" referring to the group or its founder.

The emails, referred to by WikiLeaks as "the Global Intelligence Files", are said to be dated from July 2004 to December 2011. In December the BBC reported that hacking group Anonymous claimed it had carried out an attack on Stratfor, resulting in the group obtaining "thousands of emails, passwords and credit card details".

However WikiLeaks has not commented on the source of the emails published today, which are said to be from a total collection of "over five million".

In its announcement the site said it had "built an investigative partnership with more than 25 media organisations and activists to inform the public about this huge body of documents".

"The organisations were provided access to a sophisticated investigative database developed by WikiLeaks and together with WikiLeaks are conducting journalistic evaluations of these emails.

"Important revelations discovered using this system will appear in the media in the coming weeks, together with the gradual release of the source documents."

Based on the company logos published alongside the release, media partners include The Hindu in India, Rolling Stone magazine in the US, Owni in France and La Republica in Italy.

In a statement Stratfor said it would not confirm whether or not the emails are authentic, adding "nor will we explain the thinking that went into them".

"The emails are private property. Like all private emails, they were written casually, with no expectation anyone other than the sender and recipient would ever see them. They should be read as such.

"Under the continued leadership of founder and Chief Executive Officer George Friedman, Stratfor will not be silenced and will continue to publish the geopolitical analysis our friends and subscribers have come to rely upon."

In October last year Julian Assange said WikiLeaks would be temporarily suspending its publishing activities to "ensure future survival".

At the time he said a financial blockade on the site had meant that WikiLeaks had "been running on cash reserves for the last 11 months".

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