Julian Assange has always feared extradition to the United States in connection to his work with WikiLeaks. That concern has been a key reason he remained holed up in the relative safety of Ecuador’s central London embassy.
The nearly-decade long battle between the US Justice Department and Assange and WikiLeaks dates back to at least 2010, when the site posted thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.
Then in 2013, US investigators also found what they believe was proof that WikiLeaks played an active role in helping Edward Snowden, a former NSA analyst, disclose a massive cache of classified documents.
More recently, WikiLeaks had been a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of any links between President Donald Trump's associates and Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. WikiLeaks posted thousands of emails stolen from Democrats by Russian agents during the election.
Embarrassingly, a bungled US court filing in November revealed the US' efforts to criminally charge Assange.
On Thursday, one of Assange's lawyers confirmed the WikiLeaks founder had been arrested on behalf of the US.