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Wikileaks, CIA and the US as an exporter of terrorism

Wikileaks has released a classified CIA document noting that a number of Americans have travelled overseas to commit violent acts, like David Headley, the Pakistani-American man who helped the Mumbai attackers in 2008; and Baruch Goldstein, the Jewish extremist who killed dozens of Palestinians in Hebron in 1994.

US citizens also provided “financial and material support” for armed groups in Northern Ireland: much of the funding for the Irish Republican Army, for example, came from Irish-Americans.

“Contrary to common belief, the American export of terrorism or terrorists is not a recent phenomenon,” the report said. “Nor has it been associated only with Islamic radicals or people of Middle Eastern, African or South Asian ethnic origin.”

The CIA concluded that foreign governments would be less likely to cooperate with the US on detention, intelligence-sharing, and other issues: “If the US were seen as an exporter of terrorism, foreign partners may be less willing to cooperate with the United States on extrajudicial activities,” the report noted.

George Little, a CIA spokesman, said in a statement that the document was merely a think piece – one of many prepared by the agency. “These sorts of analytic products, clearly identified as coming from the agency’s ‘red cell’, are designed simply to provoke thought and present different points of view,” he said.

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