Author Topic: Iceland Kicked Out FBI Agents Who Flew in Unannounced to Investigate WikiLeaks..  (Read 2346 times)

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Offline ANdReScR

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Iceland Kicked Out FBI Agents Who Flew in Unannounced to Investigate WikiLeaks Operations in the Country

According to the RUV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, FBI agents landed in Reykjavík in August 2011 without prior notification in an attempt to investigate WikiLeaks operations within the country. However, their plan was interupted when Home Secretary Ögmundur Jónasson learned about the FBI's visit and sent them packing. The Icelandic government then formally protested the FBI's activities with U.S. authorities.

This is not the first time that the U.S. government's hunt for WikiLeaks has involved private individuals and companies in Iceland. In the past, the U.S. has been successful in obtaining account information from Twitter on parliamentarian Birgitta Jónsdóttir, who now refuses to travel outside of Iceland for fear of being arrested for her connections with WikiLeaks.

According to the [report from RUV], a private plane landed at Reykjavík airport in August 2011 and onboard were FBI agents who had flown directly from the U.S. to Iceland with the mission to investigate WikiLeaks operations in the country as a part of a larger investigation into the organization. The FBI agents reportedly contacted the head of the national Icelandic police, as well as the head prosecutor in an attempt to gain access to all available information on WikiLeaks.

When Home Secretary Ögmundur Jónasson found out about the FBI's visit, he met with the FBI agents, whom he told that the Icelandic government wouldn't permit a foreign power to run their own investigations within the country. Jónasson then ordered the FBI agents to return to the U.S., and after a special meeting of the cabinet about the inicident, Foreign minister Össur Skarphéðinsson was then charged with formally protesting against the United States' behavior.

The story of the FBI's unannounced visit to iceland in August 2011 was revealed in an RUV report featured on January 30, 2013, by WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson, who explained:

"The FBI came here with private aircraft and landed at Reykjavík Airport. According to my information, which is very reliable and I have had this confirmed, so did information on this visit to the Interior Minister Ögmundur Jónasson, who reacted sharply since it was incredibly cool to come here that way. According to my information, he requirement that these police officers packed up, boarded and left the country. This was then taken up, I know, the government and the protesters were formally against this for the U.S. government."

ónasson backs up the claims that FBI agents arrived in Iceland and stayed in the country for a few days. However, he said it was out of the question that a foreign power be permitted to conduct private investigations of Icelandic citizens and their activities in the country. He told the broadcast news service:

"I can confirm that this was done in August 2011. Officers from the FBI arrived here. They must answer for themselves what they intended to do. I can also confirm that they wanted to cooperate with the Attorney-General and the National Police."



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FBI agents expelled from Iceland over Wikileaks probe

By Brett Wilkins   Feb 1, 2013 in

Angered that agents from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) traveled to his country unannounced in an attempt to investigate the whistleblower website Wikileaks, Iceland's interior minister had the Americans deported.
The Associated Press reports that Ogmundur Jonasson was caught off guard when he learned that FBI agents came to Iceland to question an unidentified Wikileaks associate in August 2011.
"I, for one, was not aware that they were coming to Iceland," Jonasson told the AP. "When I learned about it, I demanded that Icelandic police cease all cooperation and made it clear that people interviewed or interrogated in Iceland should be interrogated by Icelandic police."
According to Icelandic state broadcaster RUV, Jonasson had the American agents deported from Iceland:

    "The FBI arrived in private planes and landed at the Reykjavik airport... News of the visit reached [Interior Minister] Ögmundur Jónasson, who reacted sharply, as it was unbelievably presumptuous to come to Iceland that way... Jónasson demanded that the FBI agents pack their bags, get back on board, and leave the country. The matter was then brought before the cabinet and a formal protest was issued to US authorities."

Iceland has been a safe haven for Wikileaks activity. The Economist Intelligence Unit ranks the Nordic island nation of 320,000 as the world's 2nd most democratic, after Norway, and Icelanders pride themselves on their reputation for free speech. Wikileaks worked with Icelandic lawmakers to draft the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), a "parliamentary resolution... tasking the government with implementing various protections" to create a safe haven for journalists and to guarantee free speech in the digital age. The IMMI was passed by a vote of 50-0 in June 2010.
The United States government was not pleased by Iceland's embrace of Wikileaks. Although the whistleblowing website has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for promoting peace by holding governments accountable for their actions, the Bush administration was infuriated that site leaked proof of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Obama administration, which has protected the Bush officials responsible for torture and other crimes, has targeted Wikileaks and its fugitive founder Julian Assange.
Leading conservatives have been particularly venomous in their condemnation of Wikileaks; former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has joined Fox News host Bill O'Reilly in calling for Assange's execution, while former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said he should be hunted down like Osama bin Laden. Rep. Steve King (R-NY) asked former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder to designate Wikileaks a "foreign terrorist organization" and Assange a "terrorist ringleader."

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