New Leak of Classified Docs on Ukraine, China & Middle East Prompt Pentagon Probe
© AP Photo / Charles Dharapak
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US defense and intelligence officials are investigating the leak of a number of classified documents online related to the situation in Ukraine, China and the Middle East.
A new batch of classified documents that gained attention on Friday alarmed Pentagon officials, prompting an urgent effort to find the source.
Citing insiders aware of the development, the New York Times reportedthat more than 100 documents had been leaked onto Twitter, Telegram and on message board 4chan. The files purportedly included detailed maps and briefing slides on the state of China and the Middle East.
A slide said to have been dated February 23 was reportedly labeled “Secret/NoForn,” which the outlet explained meant it was not intended to be shared with any foreign nations.
A US defense official confirmed to Sputnik that the Pentagon is aware of the new batch of leaked sensitive information, noting that officials were looking into the matter.
“We’re aware of it, the [Defense] Department is looking into it at this time, we’re reviewing it,” the defense official said on Friday when asked about the matter.
The leaks come following the Thursday emergence of purportedly classified documents online related to the conflict in Ukraine, which included military plans and an assessment of air defense capabilities.
The earlier reveal reportedly outlined US and NATO plans for the Ukrainian military ahead of its counteroffensive this spring against Russian forces. Dated March 1, the files did not include specifics of when or where Kiev would carry out its operation against Russia but did stipulate what would be needed.
Report: Biden Administration Investigating Leak of Alleged US, NATO Military Plans for Ukraine
The latest string of leaks represent a significant breach in security that could impact Ukrainian military planning, former senior Pentagon official Mick Mulroy reportedly said. It appears the classified documents were deliberately leaked by someone seeking to damage US, Ukrainian and NATO efforts, he said.
Although defense officials have admitted that the documents are legitimate, they have indicated that the files appear to have been tampered with. In some cases, officials pointed out that certain estimates on casualties in the Ukraine conflict had been overstated.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov weighed in on the Pentagon leak earlier Friday, and stated that Russia has no doubt that the US and NATO are directly or indirectly involved in the Ukraine conflict. “We keep our eye on this process. Well, of course, it makes the whole story more complicated, but it cannot influence the final outcome of the special operation,” Peskov said.