By Shawn Rice
Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange being found dead in an alley after being kidnapped from the Ecuadorean embassy in London is fake news. There is no truth to the reports that Assange was kidnapped from the Ecuadorean embassy in London and murdered in April 2017.
Currently, U.S. authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of Assange. The U.S. investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site first gained wide attention for posting thousands of files stolen by the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.
But, where did the fake news about Assange’s death originate? On April 13, 2017, the web site Daily Info Box reported that Assange had been found dead in a London alley, his body showing signs of torture. You can see text from that fake story below.
“After being kidnapped from the Ecuadorian embassy in the early morning hours, Julian Assange’s body was found tossed away like garbage in a London alley. Investigators from Scotland Yard are currently working with MI5 and the United States FBI to figure out exactly what transpired here today.
Obviously, Assange has many enemies, none who would want to see him dead than Hillary Clinton. According to Chief Investigator Nigel Hollister, Assange wasn’t simply kidnapped and killed; he endured what looks like hours of advanced interrogation techniques. His finger and toenails had been removed and his testicles were crushed with what may have been a small sledgehammer.”
Daily Info Box is a known purveyor of fake news, according to Snopes. For the above fake story about his death, the Daily Info Box used an unrelated photograph from a February 2014 article about the death of a teenager in London.
Additionally, Wikileaks’ Twitter account continued to reference Assange as alive despite the claim. Also, no credible media outlet picked up on this alleged news or reported what would have been major international news of its founder’s death.
Here are some examples of people sharing the fake news on social media.
— Evelyn White (@EvelynWhiteGOP) April 14, 2017
— PoliticalMT (@GabrielWorldF) April 13, 2017
— The News24 (@NewsEp24) April 13, 2017
— Defango (@defango) April 13, 2017
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “We are going to step up our effort and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks. This is a matter that’s gone beyond anything I’m aware of. We have professionals that have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number of leaks and some of them are quite serious.”
He added: “So yes, it is Go to the full article.