WikiLeaks supporters vow to step up cyber attacks
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange listens during a news conference on the internet release of secret documents about the Iraq War, in London October 23, 2010. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

The founder of the controversial whistleblower website, Wikileaks, has been placed on Interpol's international wanted persons list, the international police organization announced today.

Julian Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, is wanted by Swedish authorities on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. Assange denies the charges.

Interpol, which serves 188 member nations, placed Assange on its red notice list on Nov. 20, at Sweden's request.

The Interpol red notice amounts to a request by the agency to a nation to help Sweden by identifying or locating an individual and providing for his arrest and extradition. Interpol does not have the power to demand any nation to arrest anyone.

Sweden charged Assange with rape in August and put out a warrant for his arrest, but withdrew the charge and warrant the next day, citing insufficient evidence.

I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape, the chief prosecutor, Eva Finne, said at the time.

But the two women involved in the complaints appealed the decision and the case was reopened in September. But Swedish authorities have not been able to locate Assange to face the charges against him.

Assange has said that the charges are false and very disturbing that they have been brought at a time when Wikileaks is making tens of thousands of classified documents public on its site.

In July, Wikileaks published 92,000 secret U.S. documents regarding the Afghan war. In October, the sirte released the largest classified military leak in history -- 391,832 reports on the U.S. war in Iraq.

On Nov. 28, Wikileaks began publishing 251,287 U.S. embassy cables.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that his department is looking into the possibility that the release of the embassy cables violated the nation's Espionage Act. Holder did not indicate whether the Department of Justice was considering action against Assange or against Bradley Manning, the 23-year-old U.S. Army private, who has been charged with passing classified material to Wikileaks in July and is suspected of supplying Wikileaks with the embassy cables.