The person responsible for leaking classified documents in the U.S., triggering a national security investigation, has been identified as a gun enthusiast in his twenties who worked on a military base, as reported by The Washington Post on Wednesday. According to fellow members of an online chat group, the individual shared classified information with a group of about two dozen men and young boys who shared a mutual love of guns on the instant messaging platform Discord.
The Post, which did not name the person in its report, based its findings on interviews with two members of the Discord chat group. Reuters was unable to verify the details of the report independently. Discord, in a statement earlier on Wednesday, stated that it was cooperating with law enforcement. The Department of Defense and the Department of Justice did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
The Department of Justice has opened a formal criminal probe into the matter after it was referred by the Pentagon, which is assessing the damage caused by what could potentially be the most damaging release of classified U.S. information in years. The leaked documents purportedly reveal vulnerabilities in the Ukrainian military and information about allies such as Israel, South Korea, and Turkey.
This incident highlights the serious repercussions of unauthorized disclosure of classified information and the need for stringent measures to protect national security. As the investigation unfolds, the full extent of the damage and implications of this breach remains to be seen.