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Leaked US intelligence in focus; investigation underway

The Pentagon says US agencies are assessing the impact that leaked intelligence documents could have on national security.

The Defence Department was reacting to highly classified military and intelligence documents that recently appeared online, with details ranging from Ukraine’s air defences to Israel’s Mossad spy agency.

Officials say the breadth of topics addressed in the documents also include China, the Middle East, and Africa, suggesting they were leaked by an American rather than an ally.

“The focus now is on this being a US leak, as many of the documents were only in US hands,” Michael Mulroy, a former senior Pentagon official, told Reuters.

The US Department of Defense said an inter-agency effort is assessing the impact that leaked intelligence documents could have on US national security and on its allies and partners.

“The Department of Defense continues to review and assess the validity of the photographed documents that are circulating on social media sites and that appear to contain sensitive and highly classified material,” the department said in a statement.

While the investigation is in its early stages, US officials say those running it have not ruled out the possibility that pro-Russian elements were behind the leak, which a recent ABC report has described as the most substantial leak of US classified material since the 2013 WikiLeaks release of more than 700,000 documents, videos, and diplomatic cables.

Security experts have spoken of strong indications that the leak was an attempt by Russia to deflect attention, to upset battle plans for the expected Ukrainian offensive in the 13-month-old war.

Writing by Tony Okerafor