The Dictator's Secret Emails
March 14, 2012 2:25 PM Subscribe
The British newspaper The Guardian has obtained a cache of 3,000 emails
purported to have been exchanged between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, his wife, and a close circle of advisers and friends. The personal emails allegedly show Assad dismissing his government's proposed reforms
, mocking the efforts
of Arab League monitors to spot military tanks besieging cities, as well as Assad's wife placing extravagant shopping orders
, sometimes through intermediaries
The emails support claims that Iran's government has been providing advice and support
to Assad on suppressing the uprising.
The Guardian report claims that Assad "was also briefed in detail about the presence of western journalists in the Baba Amr district of Homs and urged to 'tighten the security grip' on the opposition-held city in November."
(Death of Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin and French photographer Rémi Ochlik, previously
allegedly includes a suggestion from the daughter of Qatar's emir for the Assad's to seek exile in that country's capital, Doha.
How were the emails leaked? The Guardian reports that according to Syrian opposition activists
a young government worker in Damascus nervously handed a scrap of paper to a friend. On it were four handwritten codes that the friend was instructed to pass to a small group of exiled Syrians who would know what to do with them.
The paper contained two email addresses: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. They are thought to have been the personal email usernames and passwords of the president, Bashar al-Assad, and his wife, Asma.
Are the emails genuine? The Guardian has done some impressive legwork
and concluded that "several pieces of evidence suggest they are authentic."
Assad's official email account was also recently hacked, revealing his media strategies ahead of an interview with ABC journalist Barbara Walters