U.S. intelligence officials are investigating the possibility that recent leaks of sensitive National Security Agency hacking tools did not stem from the alleged theft of classified materials by a Pentagon contractor whose arrest was made public this week.
Current and former U.S. officials briefed on the matter told NBC News that investigators so far have found no evidence that Harold T. Martin III, a Maryland resident who was charged with taking home reams of documents from his top secret job inside the NSA, sold or distributed the material. They haven't ruled it out, however, and they are looking into whether his home computers could have been hacked.
Still, officials say they are examining other possibilities to explain the recent leaks, which seem to have originated well after Edward Snowden began his forced exile in Russia three years ago. A defense attorney told The Associated Press Martin did not intend to betray his country.