Frankfurt
© AFP 2017/ DANIEL ROLAND
The US consulate in the German city of Frankfurt is used as a "covert CIA hacker base," with intelligence operatives receiving diplomatic passports and cover from the government, the whistleblowing organization WikiLeaks said Tuesday, citing the agency's confidential documents.

Earlier on Tuesday, the WikiLeaks began to release what it said was an unprecedentedly large archive of CIA-related classified documents.

"In addition to its operations in Langley, Virginia the CIA also uses the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt as a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa. CIA hackers operating out of the Frankfurt consulate ("Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe" or CCIE) are given diplomatic ("black") passports and State Department cover," the whistleblowing organization said in a press release.

According to the statement, the CIA hackers were advised to say that they were "supporting technical consultation at the Consulate" at the German customs checks.

The first part of the leaks dubbed "Year Zero" comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina.

"The quantity of published pages in "Vault 7" part one ("Year Zero") already eclipses the total number of pages published over the first three years of the Edward Snowden NSA leaks."