In what one intelligence official called a “nightmare” series of events, classified documents that seem to reveal US national security secrets about Ukraine, the Middle East, and China have been found online.
The latest leak, which was reported by the New York Times on Friday, comes after the Pentagon said earlier that day that it is looking into photos that may show top-secret plans for an offensive by Ukrainian forces in the spring.
The new set of documents showed up on Friday afternoon on the message board site 4chan, Twitter, Telegram, and other sites.
The New York Times said that the new pile of documents also includes secret slides about China, the Indo-Pacific military theater, the Middle East, and terrorism.
On Friday, more content about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine showed up on social media sites.
According to the New York Times, a new document that has been leaked is a map that shows where the fighting is in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.
The Post also found five new documents posted on the social media site Telegram. These documents are said to show the positions of Ukrainian air defenses, the numbers of combat equipment, and maps of the fighting in Kharkiv and southern Ukraine.
A senior intelligence official told the New York Times that the leak is “a nightmare for the Five Eyes,” which are the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. These countries share intelligence.
The intelligence community has lost track of more than 100 documents, according to the report. An analyst who did not want to be named said that the documents released this week could be just the “tip of the iceberg.”
On Thursday, pro-Russian accounts put up the first batch of sensitive information on Telegram.
A review by The Post found at least five photos of printed presentation slides and maps. Three of the photos were marked “Secret,” and one was marked “Top Secret.”
A fourth picture has no visible markings that say it is classified.
US officials told The Post on Friday that the slides in the photos are real, but it looks like some of the information has been changed.
The accounts that are close to the Kremlin seem to have changed the estimated number of casualties. They now say that Russia has lost between “16k-17.5k” troops in the conflict so far, while “61k-71.5k” Ukrainian troops have been killed in action.
“The Department is looking into the reports of social media posts,” Sabrina Singh, the Pentagon’s deputy press secretary, said Friday, before the new documents were leaked.
“We are aware of the reports of social media posts, and the Department is reviewing the matter,” Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said Friday, before the new leaked documents surfaced.
After the new documents came out Friday night, a Pentagon spokeswoman said that the case had been sent to the Department of Justice.
“The Department of Defense is actively reviewing the matter, and has made a formal referral to the Department of Justice for investigation,” Singh said.