The Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks was hit Wednesday with an additional 22 charges, including aiding the enemy, which is equivalent to treason in the civilian world.
That crime is a capital offense but the military is not seeking the death penalty against Pfc. Bradley Manning. If Manning is convicted of all the charges, he faces life in prison, reduction in rank to the lowest enlisted pay grade, a dishonorable discharge and loss of all pay and allowances.
The Army made the announcement of additional charges after seven months of investigation.
"The new charges more accurately reflect the broad scope of the crimes that Pvt. 1st Class Manning is accused of committing," said Capt. John Haberland, a legal spokesman for the Military District of Washington.
Other charges announced Wednesday include wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet knowing that it will be accessed by the enemy; theft of public property or records; transmitting Defense information; and fraud in connection with computers.
Military officials say Manning is the suspected source of tens of thousands of classified government documents WikiLeaks has published since July. Manning initially faced 12 charges, including transferring classified military information to his computer and "delivering national defense information to an unauthorized source."
According to a U.S. military charge sheet, Manning improperly obtained secret information, including classified State Department cables and video footage of a July 2007 military operation, while stationed at a base east of Baghdad.
Trial proceedings against Manning have been on hold since last July, pending the results of a medical inquiry into Manning's mental capacity and responsibility. If that inquiry determines that he is mentally fit to be tried, the military equivalent of grand jury proceeding may be held.
The Army said Manning was notified in person of the additional charges on Wednesday. He is confined in the Marine Corps Base Quantico brig in Quantico, Va.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.