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UK probing Mali mail mishap — RT World News

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Defence Ministry emails intended for the Pentagon ended up in the African nation instead

The British government said on Friday it had opened an investigation into how many emails intended for the US military ended up in Mali, a West African country with close ties to Russia. 

“We have opened an investigation after a small number of emails were mistakenly forwarded to an incorrect email domain,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) told the media. “We are confident they did not contain any information that could compromise operational security or technical data.”

“All sensitive information is shared on systems designed to minimize the risk of misdirection,” the spokesperson added.

The MoD did not mention the name of the “incorrect” domain. Earlier this month,  however, Financial Times revealed that “millions” of Pentagon emails had ended up on servers in Mali, due to the similarity between the US military domain (.mil) and that of the African country (.ml).

Typo sending millions of Pentagon emails to African country

Dutch internet entrepreneur Johannes Zuurbier, who managed the Malian government’s internet domain until recently, told FT he first noticed the problem almost ten years ago and tried to warn the Pentagon. 

British media found the story funny at the time. The BBC headlined it “You’ve Got Mali,” a pun on the 1998 romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. The US Department of Defense confirmed that “unauthorized disclosures of controlled national security information” had taken place.

Bamako’s military government has cultivated closer relations with Russia since Mali’s 2021 coup. While there is no formal military alliance between it and Moscow, Interim President Assimi Goita has contracted with the controversial private military company Wagner for security services. The government in Bamako has also sought to sever ties with former colonial power France, ejecting French peacekeepers last month and abolishing French as the official language earlier this week.

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