British Police Know Location Of WikiLeaks' Founder Julian Assange

Police in Britain know WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s whereabouts in the country, but have not acted on an international arrest warrant for him, a British newspaper reported Thursday.

The enigmatic figure, whose organization is in the midst of releasing some 250,000 secret US diplomatic cables that have been embarrassing to the US and, according to some, could damage diplomatic relations around the world, is wanted in Sweden for questioning on rape allegations. Mr. Assange has been absent from public view for nearly a month.

In a statement on its website Dec. 1, the international police organization Interpol said that it had put out a ""red notice"" for Mr. Assange on Nov. 20 to all 188 member countries. The red notice was only made public this week, however, following official authorization by Sweden, Interpol said.

A red notice is not itself an arrest warrant, but a notification that a warrant exists in one country and that that country will seek extradition of the suspect if arrested, as The Christian Science Monitor reported Tuesday. Some nations treat the notice as request for an arrest.

British newspaper The Independent reported today that police in Britain are “fully aware” of where Assange is staying, but have not authorized his arrest because officials are seeking “clarification” about his Swedish arrest warrant. Assange gave the police contact information when he moved to Britain in October, and Scotland Yard has been in touch with his attorneys for a month, reports the paper. He is believed to be in southeast England."