Several original - never edited - US State Department documents obtained by WikiLeaks were accidentally uploaded to their website, revealing the names of sensitive sources that have thus far remained anonymous, Der Spiegel and Freitag Der reported Monday.
The names in the documents include possible Israeli, Iranian and Jordanian intelligence agents. The release of the unedited cables could put the sources in danger as many of them are located in countries whose governments are hostile to the US.
The original classified documents were edited before distribution over six months ago, but the original key file - which has now been leaked - reveals information originally censored by WikiLeaks editors.
According to the German reports, one of the documents quotes an Iranian informant as saying that the Iranian people have always tried to maintain the impression they were following the "stupid and crazy ayatollahs."
The uncensored documents were uploaded in the backdrop of internal disputes between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and some of his colleagues who had left the site. Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Assange's former deputy and spokesman, was the only person to have access to the original cables kept on an external server and locked with a password.
At the end of 2010, Domscheit-Berg returned documents he had taken with to WikiLeaks, including the original copy of the unedited cables. A group of Assange's supporters uploaded the information, which was encrypted, to the internet unaware the documents had not been edited and included the names of the US administration sources.
Several months ago, an associate of Assange revealed the code which allows access to the original documents. He never imagined that the password would enable access to documents which were already online, as he thought they were saved on an external server. The accident went undetected for weeks before WikiLeaks' competitors exposed it.
Domscheit-Berg's news site OpenLeaks exposed the blunder to prove that Assange's site was unprotected.