Israel has destroyed all Iranian nuclear infrastructure on the ground, a November email from the US intelligence firm Stratfor released by Wikileaks on Monday claims, citing a "confirmed Israeli intelligence agent."
The email is one of five million the whistleblowing website plans to publish from the US-based global security analysis company that has been likened to a shadow CIA. The emails appear to contain a large amount of speculation and hearsay.
In an email from November 7, 2011, an Israeli intelligence agent is quoted as saying of reports that Israel is preparing a military offensive against Iran, "I think this is a diversion. The Israelis already destroyed all the Iranian nuclear infrastructure on the ground weeks ago."
The source adds that he believes the tension with Iran is part of a European conspiracy.
"The current ‘let’s bomb Iran’ campaign was ordered by the EU leaders to divert the public attention from their at home financial problems."
The emails, snatched by hackers, could unmask sensitive sources and throw light on the murky world of intelligence-gathering by the company known as Stratfor, which counts Fortune 500 companies among its subscribers.
Stratfor in a statement shortly after midnight EST (0500 GMT) said the release of its stolen emails was an attempt to silence and intimidate it.
It said it would not be cowed under the leadership of George Friedman, Stratfor’s founder and chief executive officer. It said Friedman had not resigned as CEO, contrary to a bogus email circulating on the Internet.
Some of the emails being published "may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic," the company statement said.
"We will not validate either. Nor will we explain the thinking that went into them. Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimized twice by submitting to questioning about them," the statement said.
WikiLeaks did not say how it had acquired access to the vast haul of internal and external correspondence of the Austin, Texas company, formally known as Strategic Forecasting Inc.
Hackers linked to the loosely organized Anonymous hackers group said at the beginning of the year they had stolen the email correspondence of some 100 of the firm’s employees. The group said it planned to publish the data so the public would know the "truth" about Stratfor operations.
Stratfor describes itself as a subscription-based publisher of geopolitical analysis with an intelligence-based approach to gathering information.
WikiLeaks and Anonymous maintain the emails will expose dark secrets about the company. Stratfor said in its statement it had worked hard to build "good sources" in many countries, "as any publisher of global geopolitical analysis would do."
In December, hackers broke into Stratfor’s data systems and stole a large number of company emails.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Reuters: "Here we have a private intelligence firm, relying on informants from the US government, foreign intelligence agencies with questionable reputations and journalists."
"What is of grave concern is that the targets of this scrutiny are, among others, activist organizations fighting for a just cause."
Friedman, the chief executive, said on Jan. 11 the thieves would be hard pressed to find anything significant in the stolen emails.
"God knows what a hundred employees writing endless emails might say that is embarrassing, stupid or subject to misinterpretation. … As they search our emails for signs of a vast conspiracy, they will be disappointed."