| Updated at: 0005 PST, Wednesday, December 08, 2010|
WASHINGTON: The release by WikiLeaks of a secret list of key global infrastructure compiled by the United States is "irresponsible" as it offers al Qaeda potential targets, the State Department said Tuesday.
A State Department cable released by WikiLeaks revealed a secret list of infrastructure from pipelines to smallpox vaccine suppliers, which US officials feared could "critically impact" security if they were attacked.
"The release of a list of critical infrastructure that is important to our society and our economy and the economies of other countries is irresponsible," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.
"It is expressly the kind of information that is classified and deserves to remain classified and its release in essence is providing a targeting list to a group like al Qaeda," Crowley said.
"It's irresponsible. It's exactly the concerns we've had from the outset when we indicated very clearly that the release of this information puts lives and interests at risk."
The February 2009 State Department document released on Sunday includes undersea cables, communications, ports, mineral resources and firms of strategic importance in countries ranging from Austria to New Zealand.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke generally on Monday when asked to comment on the release of the secret cable on infrastructure sites.
"I will underscore that this theft of US government information and its publication without regard for the consequences is deeply distressing," Clinton told reporters.
"The illegal publication of classified information poses real concerns and even potential damage to our friends and partners," she warned.