Wikileaks Founder Comes Out of Hiding Assange will avoid US but attempt to contact whistleblower Manning By Nick McMaster, Newser Staff Posted Jun 21, 2010 4:35 PM CDT 13 comments Comments Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks. (Wikipedia) (Newser) – The founder of Wikileaks has come out of hiding, but he won't be visiting the US any time soon, the Guardian reports. Julian Assange has been wary of the US since the arrest of a US military analyst who claimed to have sent Wikileaks 260,000 confidential US diplomatic cables. "I feel perfectly safe," said Assange, who some reports have claimed is the target of a covert US manhunt. "But I have been advised by my lawyers not to travel to the US during this period." Assange's first public appearance was a speech at a seminar on freedom of information in Brussels. "Some fear for my life," he said. "I'm not one of them. We have to avoid some countries, avoid travel, until we know where the political arrow is pointing." Assange noted that Wikileaks has hired lawyers for Bradley Manning, the serviceman who has allegedly sent material to Wikileaks, but they have not been granted access to him. "Clearly, a young man is detained in very difficult circumstances with the allegation he is the whistleblower. We must do our best to obtain freedom for him," Assange said of Manning.