Washington – The arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a US “priority,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, as media reports indicated his office was preparing charges against the fugitive anti-hero.

“We are going to step up our effort and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks,” Sessions, America’s top cop, said at a news conference in response to a reporter’s question about a US priority to arrest Assange.

The Justice Department chief said a rash of leaks of sensitive secrets appeared unprecedented.

“This is a matter that’s gone beyond anything I’m aware of. We have professionals that have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number of leaks and some of them are quite serious,” he said.

© AFP BEN STANSALL WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been holed up at the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012 trying to avoid extradition to Sweden where he faces a rape allegation that he denies

© AFP BEN STANSALL – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been holed up at the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012 trying to avoid extradition to Sweden where he faces a rape allegation that he denies