The whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks has started publishing more than five million emails hacked by Anonymous from the servers of Stratfor, a US intelligence gathering company.

WikiLeaks said it released 167 emails in partnership with 25 media organisations around the world, including Rolling Stone, The Hindu and Russia Reporter.

"To clarify to all journalists - YES, #Anonymous gave the STRATFOR emails obtained in the 2011 LulzXmas hack to WikiLeaks. #GIFiles" tweeted YourAnonNews.

The emails, published by WikiLeaks under the name of the Global Intelligence Files, date from July 2004 to late December 2011.

Stratfor is a provider of "strategic intelligence on global business, economic, security and geopolitical affairs". Among its clients are large corporations, such as Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency.

The material contains secret information about the US government's campaign against Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, and Stratfor's own attempts to "subvert" the whistblowing site.

"There are more than 4,000 emails mentioning WikiLeaks or Julian Assange. The emails also expose the revolving door that operates in private intelligence companies in the United States," reads a statement by WikiLeaks.

Strafor said of the leaks: "This is a deplorable, unfortunate - and illegal - breach of privacy. Some of the emails may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic. We will not validate either. Nor will we explain the thinking that went into them. Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimised twice by submitting to questioning about them."

WikiLeaks also claimed it obtained Stratfor's list of informants and recorded their payoffs, "including $1,200 a month paid to the informant 'Geronimo'".

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