Bradley Manning
Bradley Manning is escorted by military police from the courthouse at Fort Meade in Maryland Reuters

Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army intelligence analyst suspected of passing classified documents to WikiLeaks, will face a full court-martial, the U.S. Army Military District of Washington announced on Friday.

Manning, 24, faces 22 charges of participating in the largest leak of classified information in American history, including aiding the enemy, wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet, and theft of public property.

Aiding the enemy is an offense that could bring the death penalty, but the prosecution has said it intends to seek a maximum of life in prison for Manning.

He could also face a reduction to the lowest enlisted pay grade, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and a dishonorable discharge.

A military judge will be selected by the U.S. Army Trial Judiciary, and that judge will set the date for Manning's arraignment, motion hearings, and trial.

Military prosecutors say Manning downloaded thousands of classified files that later appeared on WikiLeaks.

In a statement on Friday, the Bradley Manning Support Network blasted military officials for their decision to hold a full court-martial.

This administration owes all Americans an honest explanation for their extraordinary retaliation against Bradley Manning, Jeff Paterson, a lead organizer of the Bradley Manning Support Network, said in a statement.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton need to produce sworn depositions under conditions where they are required to tell the truth about Bradley Manning, he said.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; additional reporting by Andrew Longstreth and Lily Kuo; Editing by Xavier Briand)