Author of 'leaked' classified Pentagon documents believed to work on US military base, says 'Washington Post'

According to the Washington Post, the man behind the leak of secret US government documents is a certain "OG", an American in his twenties, a firearms enthusiast and working on a "military base"

Author of 'leaked' classified Pentagon documents believed to work on US military base, says 'Washington Post'

According to the Washington Post, the man behind the leak of secret US government documents is a certain "OG", an American in his twenties, a firearms enthusiast and working on a "military base". The American daily collected the testimonies of two people from a group led by "OG" - which brought together around twenty, mainly men and teenagers - on a Discord server, created in 2020, during the pandemic. The common thread: their mutual love of guns, military hardware, and God.

The publication, since March 1, of several dozen documents marked "confidential", presented as coming from the American intelligence services and supposed to show excerpts from confidential reports produced by the United States on the war in Ukraine, surprises and worries the allies. According to the Washington Post's two unnamed sources, "OG" for months published hundreds of documents that appeared to be verbatim transcripts of classified intelligence brought back from his work. He wanted to "keep us in the loop" on government actions, says one underage witness interviewed by The Washington Post - the same claims "OG" never positioned himself as a whistleblower.

Discord cooperates with law enforcement

The young man said he was impressed with "OG's" ability to predict major events before they made "headline" news, information that "only someone with that kind of high credentials" would have. could know. The Washington Post reports that "OG" spent hours inside a secure facility where the use of cell phones and electronic devices is prohibited. He annotated some of the documents, translating the coded lingo to make it accessible to members of the Discord group. "If you have access to classified documents, you kinda want to show off, bring her back," adds the witness.

"He's a smart person. He knew what he was doing when he released these documents, of course. These are not accidental leaks,” the young man told the Washington Post. At the end of 2022, faced with the visible lack of interest from its audience and the cumbersomeness of transcribing and summarizing the documents, "OG" began to publish photos of them. A less time-consuming but more risky approach, each photo containing details whose exploitation would facilitate the identification of its author.

The two witnesses interviewed by The Washington Post say they know the identity of "OG" as well as the state in which he resides and works. "He's armed. He's trained," adds one of the two sources. In a reviewed video passed to The Post, "OG" stands in a shooting range, hurls a volley of racist and anti-Semitic slurs before firing multiple rounds at a target.

The two members of the Discord group refused to share this information with the American daily. For its part, Discord said in a statement that it was cooperating with law enforcement and declined to respond to the newspaper's revelations.

Bellingcat similar survey

The witness interviewed by the Washington Post says that he met OG about four years ago, on another server intended for Oxide fans. This is what Bellingcat wrote four days ago. According to a detailed investigation by the site specializing in open source investigation, the documents could have initially appeared before March 1 on a small Discord server, a popular tool for video game enthusiasts to create forums and discussion areas.

This server, called "Thug Shaker Central" and whose content has since been deleted, brought together about twenty Internet users, all fans of a youtuber called Oxide, who made himself known by posting videos of the game War Thunder and who now dedicates his channel to paintball sequences and military re-enactments. The participants in this restricted group, made up of Americans but also young foreigners, shared the same interests for weapons, paintball (or airsoft) and military reenactments (Milsim), as well as for certain popular video games. Traces left online on social networks by alleged participants in this discussion forum, and which Le Monde was able to consult, contain multiple ultraconservative messages and racist allusions.

Some of the files were then reposted in early March on another Discord channel, "Wow Mao". Today renamed, probably cleaned to remove the documents concerned and above all flooded with memes, Wow Mao is a fairly small community dedicated to the eponymous Filipino youtuber.

Then, on March 4, some of the photographs appeared on another, much busier server dedicated to maps for the Minecraft video game, "Minecraft Earth Map". In what context could potentially confidential documents from the Pentagon be disseminated there? The few screenshots available, one of which was posted by Bellingcat as well as another observer on Twitter, suggest an exchange related to the war in Ukraine between members of the forum, without knowing what the context was. real of the discussion. The next day, some of the files were posted on the English-language forum 4chan/pol/, popular with the American far-right, as well as on pro-Putin Telegram channels.