Ian Traynor profiles Julian Assange for the Guardian:
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The elusive founder of WikiLeaks, who is at the centre of a potential US national security sensation, has surfaced from almost a month in hiding to tell the Guardian he does not fear for his safety but is on permanent alert.
Julian Assange, a renowned Australian hacker who founded the electronic whistleblowers’ platform WikiLeaks, vanished when a young US intelligence analyst in Baghdad was arrested.
The analyst, Bradley Manning, had bragged he had sent 260,000 incendiary US state department cables on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to WikiLeaks.
The prospect of the cache of classified intelligence on the US conduct of the two wars being put online is a nightmare for Washington. The sensitivity of the information has generated media reports that Assange is the target of a US manhunt.
“[US] public statements have all been reasonable. But some statements made in private are a bit more questionable,” Assange told the Guardian in Brussels.