The Pentagon has described the leak of highly sensitive and important US documents as a “very serious” threat to national security.
The Pentagon said on Monday that the Department of Justice was investigating the leak of the documents, according to the AFP news agency.
The leaked documents include classified information about the war in Ukraine as well as sensitive analysis of US allies that US officials are now trying to convince.
Photos of dozens of documents related to the Ukraine war are circulating on social media. US officials had said that behind the disclosure of the documents, the hand of Russia or its supporters was possible.
Assistant of Secretary of Defense for Public Defense, Chris Meagher, said documents circulating online pose a very dangours to national security and have the potential to spread disinformation.
He told reporters that they are still investigating how the documents were leaked.
Chris Meagher said U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin was not briefed on the matter until the morning of April 6, the same day the New York Times reported the documents.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters that President Joe Biden was briefed on the leaked documents “last weekend.” He did not tell me about the date of the briefing.
“Contacts to Reassure Allies”
More documents point to US surveillance of its allies.
The documents show at one point that officials from Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, supported protests against a controversial judicial reform plan.
The US State Department has said that US officials are in contact with Washington’s allies on the issue.
State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters that they are in high-level contact with allies and partners.
Pentagon said more that relevant congressional committees have also been informed.
According to Chris Meagher, assistant to the secretary of defence for public defence, a Pentagon team is determining whether the documents are genuine, but he said the images circulating online contain sensitive information.
They include a document that has been altered to show that Ukraine has suffered more casualties than Russia, but officials say the opposite is true.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby says the US government is concerned that more documents could be revealed.