Suspect Arrested by FBI in Connection with Leaked Pentagon Docs Exposing Ukraine Plans
A Massachusetts man who is an employee of the Air Force National Guard was arrested Thursday in connection with the leak of classified Department of Defense documents, including one outlining Ukraine’s plans for a spring offensive, according to reports.
The documents were leaked publicly to a variety of social media outlets.
“Today, the Justice Department arrested Jack Douglas Teixeira in connection with an investigation into alleged unauthorized removal, retention, and transmission of classified national defense information. Teixeira is an employee of the United States Air Force National Guard,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a Justice Department news release.
“FBI agents took Teixeira into custody earlier this afternoon without incident. He will have an initial appearance at the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts,” Garland said.
“This investigation is ongoing,” the attorney general said.
BREAKING: Sky 5 was overhead as federal agents swarmed a Mass. home and detained a man amid the probe into leaked classified documents about the Ukraine war. https://t.co/5FCrFgz3QZ pic.twitter.com/cwdp4yWJLK
— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) April 13, 2023
“Today, the FBI took 21-year-old Jack Douglas Teixeira into custody without incident at a residence in North Dighton, Massachusetts, for his alleged involvement in leaking classified U.S. government and military documents,” an FBI representative said, according to The New York Times.
“The FBI is continuing to conduct authorized law enforcement activity at the residence,” the representative said. “Since late last week the FBI has aggressively pursued investigative leads and today’s arrest exemplifies our continued commitment to identifying, pursuing, and holding accountable those who betray our country’s trust and put our national security at risk.”
A search of a home in North Dighton, Massachusetts, accompanied the arrest, according to the Times.
Jack Teixeira, Massachusetts Air National Guard member accused of leaking secret Pentagon documents, arrested in Dighton https://t.co/xoo7hjNvjW pic.twitter.com/jQRXbWbSDG
— WBZ | CBS Boston News (@wbz) April 13, 2023
Teixeira told members of the Discord server Thug Shaker Central that he was a technology support staffer at a Massachusetts Air National Guard base on Cape Cod, one member of the group said, according to The Washington Post.
The Times reported that for months, “one of the users uploaded hundreds of pages of intelligence briefings into the small chat group.”
Members of Thug Shaker Central said the postings were not intended to go public, but a teenage member of the group posted some publicly, the report said.
The person who leaked was not a whistleblower, they said, and the secret documents were never meant to leave their small corner of the internet.
“This guy was a Christian, anti-war, just wanted to inform some of his friends about what’s going on,” said a 17-year-old whose name was not used.
“We have some people in our group who are in Ukraine. We like fighting games, we like war games,” the teen said.
A report in the Post said the leaks were selected for their importance to the group.
“He’s a smart person. He knew what he was doing when he posted these documents, of course. These weren’t accidental leaks of any kind,” the member said.
The reports in the Times and Post said it was unknown how highly classified information would have come into the possession of the suspect.
A Pentagon spokesman said Monday that the Defense Department is working “around-the-clock” to determine what damage was caused by the leaks, according to the Post.
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