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WikiLeaks suspect 'designed Facebook' as a schoolboy, say pals

December 2, 2010 - London

Friends of Bradley Manning, the prime suspect in the leaking of top secret documents to the WikiLeaks website, have revealed that the 23-year-old was such a computer expert that he designed a version of Facebook years before modern social networking sites took off.

Manning was born in Oklahoma but spent his teenage years living with his mother in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.

Friends remember him as a shy schoolboy who was determined to speak his mind and "had his own sense of right and wrong".

"Overall, Bradley was renowned for his IT skills," The Telegraph quoted Tom Dyer, a fellow pupil at Tasker Milward School, as saying.

"He produced a website with another schoolmate. It was pre-Facebook. It was like a community site. It didn't really lift off, but it was a good idea.

"It was pretty much a social networking site before its time. You could log in and find out about local news," he added.

Manning is being held in solitary confinement at a military base in Quantico, Virginia.


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