Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist credited with breaking the explosive story of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, is leaving the British newspaper for what he calls a "once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity that no journalist could possibly decline."
"My partnership with the Guardian has been extremely fruitful and fulfilling," Greenwald said in a statement on Tuesday. "I have high regard for the editors and journalists with whom I worked and am incredibly proud of what we achieved.
Buzzfeed.com first reported the news of Greenwald's departure.
"Because this news leaked before we were prepared to announce it, I'm not yet able to provide any details of this momentous new venture," Greenwald said, "but it will be unveiled very shortly."
The Guardian said it understood Greenwald's decision.
"Glenn Greenwald is a remarkable journalist and it has been fantastic working with him," Jennifer Lindauer, a spokeswoman for the Guardian, said in a separate statement. "Our work together over the last year has demonstrated the crucial role that responsible investigative journalism can play in holding those in power to account.
She added: "We are of course disappointed by Glenn’s decision to move on, but can appreciate the attraction of the new role he has been offered."
Greenwald told Buzzfeed his new venture — “a general media outlet and news site" that will include "sports and entertainment and features" — comes with major financial backers, but he wouldn't disclose who they were.
“My role, aside from reporting and writing for it, is to create the entire journalism unit from the ground up by recruiting the journalists and editors who share the same journalistic ethos and shaping the whole thing,” he said.
Greenwald, who lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, said he will remain there, but that the new venture's main offices will be in New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.
In August, Greenwald's partner, David Miranda, was detained for nearly nine hours at London's Heathrow Airport while returning to Rio from Berlin, Germany. Officials said Miranda — who had been visiting filmmaker Laura Poitras, Greenwald's partner on the Snowden stories — was being held under the U.K.'s antiterror law.
Greenwald called the arrest an act of intimidation.
"If the UK and US governments believe that tactics like this are going to deter or intimidate us in any way from continuing to report aggressively on what these documents reveal, they are beyond deluded," Greenwald wrote. "If anything, it will have only the opposite effect: to embolden us even further."