(CNSNews.com) – In an exclusive report, the Washington Post is reporting that the man who leaked sensitive U.S. government documents “is a young, charismatic gun enthusiast” known as “OG” to the invitation-only group he formed on the Discord website.
According to the Post: “United by their mutual love of guns, military gear and God, the group of roughly two dozen — mostly men and boys — formed an invitation-only clubhouse in 2020 on Discord, an online platform popular with gamers.”
The leaked documents began appearing last year, the report said.
According to one young member of the group who spoke to the newspaper, OG indicated that he transcribed documents that he came across on his job at a military base, which the member refused to identify.
“OG claimed he spent at least some of his day inside a secure facility that prohibited cellphones and other electronic devices, which could be used to document the secret information housed on government computer networks or spooling out from printers. He annotated some of the hand-typed documents, the member said, translating arcane intel-speak for the uninitiated…”
OG reportedly told the gamers’ group he “toiled for hours writing up the classified documents to share with his companions in the Discord server he controlled…When rendering hundreds of classified files by hand proved too tiresome, he began posting hundreds of photos of documents themselves, an astonishing cache of secrets…”
The Washington Post said the young Discord member, who is under the age of 18, spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity and with permission from his mother.
“His account was corroborated by a second member who read many of the same classified documents shared by OG and who also spoke on the condition of anonymity,” the newspaper said.
“Both members said they know OG’s real name as well as the state where he lives and works but declined to share that information while the FBI is hunting for the source of the leaks.”
Discord said it is cooperating with the FBI.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters this week that he was first briefed on the leak of top-secret information “on the morning of April 6th.”
“And since then, I have been convening senior department leaders daily on our response, and I have directed an urgent cross-department effort,” Austin said.
“And we’ve referred the matter to the Department of Justice, which has opened a criminal investigation. Now, I can’t say much more while the Justice Department’s investigation is ongoing, but we take this very seriously.
“And we will continue to work closely with our outstanding allies and partners, and nothing will ever stop us from keeping America secure.”
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told CNN on Thursday his committee was briefed on the national security breach on Wednesday.
“Well I don’t want to get into the details, obviously,” he said. “But all I can say is that the committee is deeply concerned about any leaks and we’ll be doing everything we can to make sure that this kind of situation doesn’t happen again, and we’ll be asking why there was a breakdown in the protection of intelligence.”
Khanna said the leak puts American military personnel as well as Ukrainian soldiers and civilians at risk.
Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the leak is “certainly espionage,” and the person who posted top secret documents “needs to be charged criminally and put behind bars.”
“He has created an international crisis with our allies and obviously put in jeopardy sources and individuals who have been cooperating with US intelligence services, particularly the Russian invasion into Ukraine,” Lawler told “Mornings With Maria.”
“And given the fact that that war is still ongoing, this really puts folks in jeopardy, and frankly, it’s outrageous.”
Lawler said the fact that such sensitive material was able to be walked out of a secure location and posted on a gaming website is also “deeply disturbing,” and the government needs to plug the leak very quickly.
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