Syrian activists have leaked a cache of emails that are apparently downloaded from private accounts belonging to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife, as reported by The Guardian.The emails were sent to The Guardian and include private information— including family photographs and videos, a scan of the president’s identity card and a birth certificate belonging to a family member— that would be difficult to produce for even the best-resourced fabricator.
Many of the emails are from accounts named “firstname.lastname@example.org” and “email@example.com” that activists say were used by al-Assad and his wife, Asma.
There are several email conversations in which “Sam” and Bashar are clearly identified as the same person…
In Asma’s case, there are a host of emails sent between [email protected] and Asma al-Assad’s family which offer compelling proof. Many emails sent to “ak” from her family begin “Hi Asma”, and one of her family’s email header lists [email protected] as Asma Akhras, Asma al-Assad’s maiden name.
Messages from these accounts speak regularly and affectionately with family and advisers of the Assads, some of whose email addresses were easily verified. Events and speeches mentioned in the emails match the timing of real events.
The content of the emails include Assad’s view of reform laws as “rubbish,” a suggestion from a daughter of the emir of Qatar to seek exile, advice from Iranians on how to handle the uprising against his rule, indications of Assad’s taste in music, and the fact that the Dubai-based company al-Shahba was used as a key conduit for Syrian government business and private purchases by the Syrian first lady.
The Guardian has contacted 10 people whose emails appear in the cache— all of them confirmed the time and content of the emails or refused to deny they are genuine.
Sir Andrew Green, Britain’s former ambassador in Syria, confirmed that two emails he sent— one to Assad’s father-in-law and the other to members of the British Syrian Society— were genuine.
Activists say a young government worker in Damascus gave them the username and password details in March of last year, allowing them uninterrupted access to the two inboxes until the leak was discovered and the emails stopped on February 7.
By mid-December, the correspondence to Assad’s inbox had become increasingly interesting. There were notes for an election speech he was due to deliver, daily world media briefings, glowing tributes from acolytes and constant chatter from his media advisers. But the devastating revelation that the activists had all been hoping for continued to elude them.
The Guardian said that they did not solicit the emails and are publishing the information that is of clear public interest so as to provide a more detailed picture of the workings of the Syrian president’s inner circle.
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