Media outlets this week identified the leaker behind the release of troves of classified U.S. intelligence documents as a 21-year-old National Guardsman who shared the information with friends on an online server. The leak, which has been described as the most damaging to the United States in a decade, comprised documents detailing U.S. involvement in the Ukraine-Russia war, including its spying on allies and pessimistic outlooks on peace talks.
On Thursday, the New York Times identified the leaker as 21-year-old Jack Teixeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. The Times reported it was unclear how Teixeira would have had access to the classified information.
The day before, the Washington Post reported the leaks came from a man who worked on a military base and shared hundreds of documents with friends in a Discord server. Another member of the group posted the documents elsewhere online, which have since spread and caused turmoil between the United States and its allies.
The Times named the alleged leaker the same day President Joe Biden said intelligence officials are "getting close" to identifying the leaker. "There is a full-blown investigation going on with the intelligence community and Justice Department and they are getting close," Biden said in Ireland. "I don’t have an answer for you."
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the administration has "taken steps to further restrict access to sensitive information."
The Post’s source said the alleged leaker was known as "OG" and that he leaked the documents to show off to friends, some of whom are foreign nationals, Fox News reported:
The teen, who the Post said had parental permission to speak to the outlet, said "OG" shared troves of classified material with him and roughly two dozen other members of the chat group.
Members of the group, described by the Post's source as "tight-knit," reportedly included foreign citizens from Russia and even Ukraine.
Many of the posts were written out by "OG," who then reportedly got tired of writing out the intelligence and later resorted to taking and posting pictures of the documents and sharing them with members.
The Washington Post reports "OG" obtained the sensitive information from his job working at an unnamed "military base."