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[ISN] Bashar Assad emails leaked, tips for ABC interview revealed
By Barak Ravid
Hundreds of emails from Syrian President Bashar Assad's office were
leaked on Monday after an attack by the hacker group Anonymous. One of
the email files, which Haaretz has obtained, was a document preparing
Assad for his December 2011 interview with ABC's Barbara Walters.
The attack took place overnight Sunday and the target was the mail
server of the Syrian Ministry of Presidential Affairs. Some 78 inboxes
of Assad's aides and advisers were hacked and the password that some
used was "12345". Among those whose email was exposed were the Minister
of Presidential Affairs Mansour Fadlallah Azzam and Assad's media
adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban.
Assad's TV interview with Walters was memorable for his repeated denials
that Syrian citizens were being killed. "We don't kill our people ... no
government in the world kills its people, unless it's led by a crazy
person," Assad told Walters.
About 10 days before the interview, Sheherazad Jaafari - a press attache
at the Syrian mission to the United Nations - sent a long email to
former Al Jazeera journalist Luna Chebel, who now works in Assad's
bureau. She also sent the email to an aide of Shaaban's. Jaafari, who
was involved in arranging the interview with Walters, also happens to be
the daughter of the Syrian ambassador to the UN, Dr. Bashar Jaafari.
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