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WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Arrested, Charged By U.S. Justice Department

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JULIAN ASSANGE: They must resist. U.K. will resist. (Unintelligible).

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

That's WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange shouting, they must resist, early this morning in London. The 47-year-old WikiLeaks founder, bearded and handcuffed, was dragged out of the embassy by British authorities for, quote, "failing to surrender to the court."

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Assange had political asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy for almost seven years. Here he was back in 2012.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ASSANGE: I thank President Correa for the courage he has shown in considering and in granting me political asylum.

CHANG: Assange is notorious for his role in releasing classified information in 2010 through his website WikiLeaks.

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UNIDENTIFIED JOURNALIST #1: Breaking news this morning on WikiLeaks, the website that's been putting tens of thousands of leaked secret documents on the Internet.

CHANG: Those leaks included a July 2007 video of an airstrike in Baghdad by a U.S. air crew. Note - this does include the sound of gunfire.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER #1: Light them all up.

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER #2: Come on. Fire.

(SOUNDBITE OF GUNFIRE)

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER #3: Keep shooting.

SHAPIRO: During the 2016 presidential election, Assange was also involved in the WikiLeaks dump of thousands of stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED JOURNALIST #2: We saw the release of these 20,000 emails from WikiLeaks from the DNC.

SHAPIRO: Here in the U.S., the Justice Department charged Assange today with engaging in a conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. This is related to a leak of classified documents by U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who was then known as Bradley Manning. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.