U.S. officials are urgently searching for the source of a highly classified intel leak, which includes military and intelligence documents detailing information about Ukraine's air defenses and Israel's Mossad spy agency. Some Western security experts and officials suspect the leak may have originated from someone within the United States.
American Suspected Due to Document Breadth
The extensive range of topics addressed in the leaked documents, including the war in Ukraine, China, the Middle East, and Africa, suggests that the leak may have come from an American rather than an ally.
Early Investigation Stages and Potential Russian Involvement
Although the investigation is still in its early stages, U.S. officials have not ruled out the possibility of pro-Russian elements behind the leak, considered one of the most severe security breaches since the 2013 WikiLeaks incident.
Examining Leaked Documents on Social Media
Over 50 "Secret" and "Top Secret" documents first surfaced on social media websites like Discord and 4Chan. The authenticity of these documents has yet to be verified independently, and some may have been doctored to mislead investigators or disseminate false information.
Impact on Ukraine's Air Defense Systems
One leaked document detailed how Ukraine's S-300 air defense systems would be depleted by May 2 at the current usage rate. This information could be extremely valuable to Russian forces, prompting Ukraine to take action to prevent further leaks.
Spying on Middle Eastern Allies
Another leaked document suggests that the United States had been spying on Israel, one of its most important allies in the Middle East, by monitoring Mossad's involvement in protests against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plans to tighten controls on the Supreme Court.
South Korea's Involvement in Weapons Supply
The leaked documents also revealed internal discussions among senior South Korean officials regarding U.S. pressure on Seoul to help supply weapons to Ukraine and South Korea's policy of not doing so. South Korea plans to discuss the issues raised with Washington.
Assessing the Leak's Impact on U.S. Security
While there is concern about the leak at the Pentagon and intelligence agencies, the documents only show a snapshot from over a month ago rather than more recent assessments. Military and intelligence agencies are examining their processes for sharing intelligence internally.
Department of Justice Begins Investigation
The Pentagon formally referred to the Department of Justice, asking it to investigate the incident. The U.S. Justice Department has begun a probe into the leak and is in touch with the Defense Department.
Investigating Motivations Behind the Leak
Officials are examining the possible motivations of a U.S. official or group of officials who may have leaked the sensitive information. Investigators are considering several theories, including disgruntled employees or insiders who actively sought to undermine U.S. national security interests.