Ukraine war: military employees are said to be behind leaks

According to information from the Washington Post, the originator of the massive data leak involving secret documents in the United States is said to have worked on a military base.

Ukraine war: military employees are said to be behind leaks

According to information from the Washington Post, the originator of the massive data leak involving secret documents in the United States is said to have worked on a military base.

A young man, who hides behind the mysterious letters "OG", initially shared the explosive documents as transcripts with a chat group he led on the Discord platform popular with video gamers, the newspaper wrote. The newspaper cites, among other things, two members of the group, which was made up of around two dozen young people with a penchant for weapons and military equipment.

Apparently secret documents from US agencies on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine have been circulating on the Internet for weeks. Shortly before Easter, US media reported for the first time on the leak of this sensitive material on both warring parties without publishing the documents themselves. An intensive search is being made for the person who published these documents.

"He's fit. He's strong. He's armed. He's trained."

According to the members, the chat group was founded in 2020 during the corona pandemic. "OG", in his early to mid 20s, is described as a charismatic gun nut with dark views of the US government, law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Others in the group would have admired him. "He's fit. He's strong. He's armed. He's trained. Pretty much everything you could want from a crazy movie," said one of the members of the group. In video seen by the Post, the man identified as "OG" stands at a shooting range with a rifle. While firing multiple shots at a target, he shouted racist and anti-Semitic insults.

"OG" told the chat group that he got hold of the documents at a military base - where he worked. According to his own account, he also spent parts of the day there in a secure facility where cell phones and other electronic devices that could be used to take photos or videos were prohibited. Therefore, he initially copied the documents. He posted his posts in the group throughout the winter.

According to the newspaper, when that proved to be too tedious, he began posting images of previously printed papers - and obviously took a great risk of being caught: in the background of some of the photos that "OG" showed the others via video , furniture and objects could be seen that could bring the investigators to his trail. For example a tube of glue, manuals or a nail clipper.

The Wall Street Journal draws attention to another point

The Wall Street Journal describes it similarly. In addition, printers at secured US facilities kept logs of the printouts, and some of the paperwork had invisible marks to track it. However, the newspaper drew attention to another point: The narrative surrounding Discord could also be the maneuver of a sophisticated opponent to steer investigators on the wrong track, the paper wrote, citing former defense officials.

In this context, "Politico" raised the question of how it could be that the responsible US authorities only became aware of the secret papers that had been circulating for months in April - when there were first media reports about them. "This suggests there may be a major blind spot online in gathering intelligence information in the US," the news portal wrote.

The investigators could possibly learn more from the two chat group users with whom the “Post” spoke. But they made it clear, according to the newspaper, that while they know the real identity of "OG" and the state where he lives, they are not willing to divulge this information. After all, they are like family.

A Desperate "OG"

"OG" stopped sharing documents with the chat group in mid-March, the Washington Post reported. The reason was that someone from the circle - to which users from Russia and Ukraine are said to have belonged - had posted documents in another group at the end of February and thus broken the obligation of secrecy.

In early April, just before the New York Times reported the leak, OG seemed desperate. "He said something happened and he prays to God that this doesn't happen," the Washington Post quoted one of the members it interviewed as saying - a minor whose mother had to give the paper her permission.

There is no complete picture of "OG's" motivation. Despite his gloomy views, he was not hostile to the US government, it said. According to the chat users, he was not a Russian or Ukrainian agent either. But it was not his intention to uncover grievances either: "I wouldn't call him a whistleblower in the slightest," the newspaper quoted one of the group members as saying - the explosive documents were only intended for his online family.

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