A major intel leak that featured top secret documents from the Pentagon that detailed war-related information in Ukraine was apparently released by a 20-year-old British university student by way of an obscure online meme site.
The student, a self-proclaimed “micro-celebrity” that went by wow_mao on Discord, released an immense amount of classified documents having to do with the Ukrainian war effort. The Daily Mail reported that the online personality released a YouTube video that discussed the fallout of the debacle, telling journalists that the whole thing was “hilarious.”
In the video, Wow Mao suggested that one of the moderators on his Discord group was the one who released these documents, saying that they had “shared 30 plus leaked documents concerning the Russia-Ukraine war” at the beginning of March. It was just one month later that journalists and regular people were after him to find out the details of the leak, per the video.
Wow Mao told The New York Times that he spent “little time” on the Discord server in question, noting that he spends more time focusing on his YouTube channel, which has 246,000 subscribers. Though he decided not to tell the outlet his real name, he said that he was both British and Filipino and that he is currently living in the UK.
Wow Mao characterized the leak as “hilarious,” going on to say that the documents were released and spread “onto the nichiest, nerdiest parts of the internet,” adding “That’s the kind of people who would find these documents – losers. That’s who the US government really has to fear.”
The Daily Mail noted that the leaks were inspired by a lack of respect for the US government, with Wow Mao sharing with The Times that these “losers” will “always find it funny to mock them and cut under them in some sort of way.”
However, the leaks did not only include information about US dealings in Ukraine. The leak apparently included information that claims 50 members of the UK’s special forces have actively operated in Ukraine. As a result, the UK Ministry of Defense has warned people not to take the allegations made in the documents “at face value.”
Chris Meagher, spokesperson for the Pentagon, has said that the documents released in the leak appear to have been doctored. There has been no reported confirmation that the details in the leak are, in fact, inaccurate.