A former WikiLeaks spokesman who, following a fall out with Julain Assange, quit to set up his own whistle blowing site, claims to have destroyed the group's Bank of America files.
Last year Assange claimed to have a "megaleak" on an unnamed major US bank exposing an "ecosystem of corruption".
Although he did not identify the firm in question, it was widely known that the five gig drive in WikiLeaks' possession related to internal documents and e-mails from Bank of America.
BofA took the threat seriously, setting up a 'war room' under chief risk officer Bruce Thompson, to prepare its defence. In February WikiLeaks posted a document from three data intelligence firms acting on behalf of a law firm representing BofA outlining a sabotage strategy against the site.
However, despite initially promising to publish early this year, the information failed to appear because it was among documents taken from the WikiLeaks server by former Germany spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg.
Domscheit-Berg fell out with Assange last year, taking 3500 unpublished files as he left to set up his own OpenLeaks site.
He has now told Spiegel Online (translation) that "in the last days shredded to ensure that the sources are not compromised," the files, which as well as the BofA data includes a complete US no-fly list and information on about 20 neo-Nazi groups.
WikiLeaks has confirmed through its Twitter account that Domscheit-Berg was in possession of the files he claims to have destroyed and issued a statement claiming it has been negotiating with him over their return for the last 11 months.