The head of the CIA lumped WikiLeaks with al Qaeda and the Islamic State and said his agency is working toward reducing the “enormous threat” posed by each of them.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo placed the antisecrecy website in the same category as terrorist organizations while speaking Thursday at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies’ National Security Summit in D.C.
“I talked about these non-state actors, and it’s not just Wikileaks. Indeed I may have overemphasized them — they are an enormous threat, we are working to take down that threat to the United States as well, to reduce the threat from all of it,” Mr. Pompeo said. “But Hezbollah, [the Islamic State], al Qaeda, none of them sit at the U.N., these are all non-state actors, each of which has not only cyber capacity, but they look and feel like very good intelligence organizations.
“All the tradecraft that you read about from the excellent work that the agency’s done and that our state competitors have done for decades and decades, you now see it being adopted by these non-state agencies,” Mr. Pompeo continued. “They run assets; they run counterintelligence program; they lure dangles — all the tradecraft that you read about from the excellent work that the agency’s done and that our state competitors have done for decades and decades, you now see it being adopted by these non-state agencies. “
WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange scoffed at the CIA chief’s remarks.
“All serious news organizations develop and protect sources with the intent of publishing what they find,” Mr. Assange told The Washington Times. “To suggest that media organizations are intelligence agencies is as absurd as suggesting that CIA employees are journalists. This ridiculous claim has a transparently insidious purpose: to gain the legal authority to treat journalists and publishers as terrorists for simply doing their job, holding the CIA to account.”