The FBI detained a man, age 21, on Thursday in connection with a probe into the disclosure of multiple private papers obtained by American intelligence agents.
The highly classified documents, which also included information about US espionage against allies and other topics, were discovered floating around on social media platforms like Twitter and Telegram.
According to a brief statement posted on its website, the FBI “today took 21-year-old Jack Douglas Teixeira into custody at a residence in North Dighton, Massachusetts, without incident for his alleged involvement in leaking classified US government and military documents.”
“The FBI has aggressively pursued investigative leads since late last week, and today’s arrest exemplifies our continued commitment to identifying, pursuing, and holding accountable those who betray our country’s trust and threaten our national security,” the FBI said in a statement.
Who is Jack Teixeira?
According to a report in The Washington Post, Jack Douglas Teixeira has been identified as an airman with the Massachusetts Air National Guard who is stationed at the Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
According to local media, he is a “cyber transport systems specialist.” The duties of this position are comparable to those of an IT specialist and include the upkeep of hubs and cabling for military communications networks.
According to a defence official who spoke to the Associated Press, Teixeira would have had a higher degree of security clearance than an entry-level worker because he was responsible for securing the networks.
Teixeira hails from a family of former soldiers. His stepfather had retired after 34 years of service at the same military installation where he was working, according to a report in the Cape Cod Times. According to it, his stepbrother is currently employed there as well, according to Teixeira’s stepuncle.
According to local media, Teixeira’s mother has a flower shop in Dighton and wrote a message on Facebook wishing him luck in his upcoming military career.
The company’s Facebook page shared images of a “welcome home” balloon tied to a mailbox and said on June 20, 2021, “Jack is on his way home today, tech school complete, ready to start his career in the Air National Guard!”
One of his online pals described Teixeira as knowledgeable, gun-interested, patriotic, and a devout Catholic. He is intelligent. Of course, when he shared these materials, he was aware of what he was doing. These leaks were not inadvertent in any way, the buddy told The Washington Post. He’s healthy. He is robust. He has a gun. He’s trained,” the unidentified friend continued.
How did Jack Teixeira leaked the information?
According to local media reports, Teixeira was a frequent user of the Thug Shaker Central secret Discord server, which is a famous gaming website.
Teixeira used the screen name OG. The 24 or so members of the invitation-only organisation, who were largely teenagers interested in weapons, military equipment, and God, served as a community for them. The COVID-19 pandemic’s seclusion had drawn them together.
In this still image obtained from a video shot on April 13, 2023, in North Dighton, Massachusetts, US, FBI agents detain Jack Teixeira, a member of the US Air Force National Guard, in connection with an investigation into the internet leaks of secret US information.
(Reuters through ABC via WCVB-TV) In this still image obtained from am video shot on April 13, 2023,3 in North Dighton, Massachusetts, US, FBI agents detain Jack Teixeira, a member of the US Air Force National Guard, in connection with an investigation into the internet leaks of secret US information. (Reuters through ABC via WCVB-TV)
According to reports, Teixeira began distributing the highly classified documents with the group—which included individuals from non-US countries—months ago, first transcribing private information and then disseminating images of the actual documents.
The images were subsequently posted on other Discord groups before making their way to Twitter and other more popular social media platforms. Over 300 secret documents are thought to have been transferred in this way; however, the precise quantity is unknown.
One of Teixeira’s internet friends told the New York Times that Teixeira appeared panicked during one of their most recent discussions. “I never intended for it to become this. I asked God to prevent this from happening. And I prayed again and again. What transpires moving forward is entirely up to God, he reportedly remarked.