The mystery leaker who posted a trove of top secret US intelligence documents has been exposed by close friends in the online chat room where he released the files. The young man is reportedly in his 20s, loves guns and video games, and works at a military base, according to one new bombshell report.
The suspected culprit is believed to have shared the files on the online chat room named “Thug Shaker Central” on Discord, which has around 25 members.
Two members of the chatroom spoke to The Washington Post about the man who is believed to have leaked the top secret classified intelligence documents, sending agencies on a desperate hunt to track him down.
Referring to the suspected leaker, one of the members told The Post: “He’s fit. He’s strong. He’s armed. He’s trained. Just about everything you can expect out of some sort of crazy movie.”
The member added that he is “a young, charismatic man who loves nature, God, shooting guns and racing cars.”
The members said they know the man’s real name and the state he lives and works in, but refused to disclose that information. They referred to him instead as “OG” – short for “original gangster”.
One of the members who spoke to The Washington Post was under 18, meaning the publication needed his mother’s permission to do the interview. His version of events was corroborated by the other chat room member.
They said the man who exposed the leaks is in his early to mid-20s.
A member, who spoke to The Post for a series of video interviews with his face obscured but his real voice used, said: “I want to keep OG’s identity secret because I still care for him, like a family member.
“He is not a Russian operative. He is not a Ukrainian operative.
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“Any claims that he is a Russian agent are categorically false. He is not interested in helping any foreign agencies with their attacks on the US.’
“There is some anti-government sentiment. But that is not uncommon among most right-wingers.”
According to The Washington Post, the publication saw a video and photos of the man who sent US intelligence services on a wild goose chase to stop major leaks.
In the video, the man is seen at a shooting range using a rifle and wearing safety glasses and ear coverings.
He looks into the camera and reportedly belts out offensive racial and antisemitic insults before unleashing bullets at a target. The outlet also claims to have obtained recordings of his interactions with other members of the online group.
The bombshell development comes after the FBI and the Pentagon scrambled to determine the source of the intelligence leaks which began six to eight months ago and drew to close in mid-March after spreading on Twitter and Telegram.
They revealed US’ top secret extensive details on Ukraine’s military campaign, including details about weapons deliveries, battalion strengths and other sensitive information.
The documents also showed that US agencies had been compiling extensive intelligence on Russia’s military, detailed U.s efforts to spy on Iran’s secret weapons programme and also discussed nuclear weapons. The members of the Discord chat room told The Post that while they expected the culprit to be found out, they denied that he was any sort of whistleblower like Edward Snowden.
They believe that he simply wanted to share the documents with friends as he thought they would find them interesting and wanted them to be “super soldiers”.
A member told The Post: “if you had classified documents, you’d want to flex at least a little bit, like hey, I’m the big guy. There is a little bit of showing off to friends, but as well as wanting to keep us informed. If your tax dollars are funding these atrocities, then we should be able to know about it.”
One of the members said they still remained in contact with the leaker until jut two days before talking to The Post.
The original chat room has since closed, but “OG” reportedly opened up another one to keep communicating with the members. He reportedly told them to “keep low and delete any information that could possibly relate to him”.
This development comes after a report in The Wall Street Journal revealed that the documents were thought to have come from the Central Intelligence Agency’s Operations Center and the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Sabrina Singh, Pentagon deputy press secretary, said: “An interagency effort has been stood up, focused on assessing the impact these photographed documents could have on US national security and on our Allies and partners.”
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