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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Graeme Massie

Pentagon leak suspect began posting classified documents four months ago


The Air Force National Guardsman charged with leaking classified Pentagon documents began posting them online last December, according to investigators.

Jack Teixeira, 21, was detained at his mother’s home in Dighton, Massachusetts, by armed FBI officers on Thursday and has now been jailed without bond.

On Friday, he was charged with unauthorized detention and transmission of national defence information and unauthorized removal of classified information and defence materials. The airman didn’t enter a formal plea.

(Social media/WCVB-TV via ABC/Reuters)

The judge in his case said that the airman could face as much as 15 years in prison, 10 years for the first charge, and five for the second, if convicted.

An affidavit submitted by investigators states that the airman started posting classified documents online around December 2022.

The court documents state that the suspect has had Top Secret clearance since 2021 because of his job in IT with the Air National Guard.

The affidavit states that he gained access to at least one of the documents he allegedly shared online because of his job with the Guard. And it says that in his job the suspect “maintained sensitive compartmented access (SCI) to other highly classified programs.”

The airman had trained as a cyber transport systems specialist, with part of his job being the running of his unit’s communication networks, according to The New York Times.

The affidavit in support of a criminal complaint and arrest warrant against Jack Teixeira (AP)

The arrest affidavit unsealed on Friday revealed that Airman Teixeira had a top-secret clearance and that he had had access to sensitive compartmentalized information, which was needed for him to do his job as a cyber defence operations journeyman.

The filing stated that some of the images shared online “appear to depict Government Information that was used to inform senior military and civilian government officials during briefings at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia”.

The criminal complaint against Teixeira (AP)

The FBI interviewed a user of a social media platform where the classified files were shared who said another user “began posting what appeared to be classified information on Social Media Platform 1 in or about December 2022 on a specific server” within the platform.

Airman Teixeira is reported to have been the administrator of the Discord server where the documents were initially shared.

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