According to the FBI, Air National Guardsman, Jack Teixeira, a low-level enlisted member of the 102nd Intelligence Wing based in Cape Cod, Massachusetts has been arrested and charged under the Espionage Act in connection with the leak of a trove of classified documents about the war in Ukraine and U.S. spying efforts around the world.
— Cheryl Fiandaca (@CherylFiandaca) April 13, 2023
The leaked documents appear to be highly sensitive reports tied to the war effort in Ukraine, including data on military activities like U.S. drone spy planes, Ukrainian forces’ use of ammunition, and U.S. perceptions of Ukrainian forces’ training and state of readiness. More than 100 U.S. documents were leaked in total.
Teixeira is reported to have overseen a private Discord channel called Thug Shaker Central, which was comprised of about 20 to 30 people, mostly young men, and teens. The purpose of the channel is not known, but it is speculated that it may have been used to disseminate the leaked documents.
Teixeira’s involvement in the investigation is not yet known, but he is reportedly not the only person of interest. It is possible that the leak may be tied to a larger conspiracy involving multiple people.
An affidavit submitted to the court from the FBI reported that Teixeira used his government computer:
From Fox News:
According to an FBI affidavit, Teixeira used his government computer to search for the word “leak” not long after news about the disclosures first broke.
“According to a second U.S. Government Agency, which can monitor certain searches conducted on its classified networks, on April 6, 2023, TEIXEIRA used his government computer to search classified intelligence reporting for the word ‘leak,'” the affidavit reads. “The first public reporting regarding the Government Information appeared on or around April 6, 2023.”
Teixeira was looking for classified reporting on intelligence agencies’ assessment of the identity of the leaker, the FBI indicated.
This latest leak of classified documents is reminiscent of the case of Chelsea Manning, who was a low-level military intelligence analyst that was found responsible for a massive leak of secrets. Manning was eventually convicted and sentenced to 35 years for leaking more than 700,000 classified documents, including battlefield reports on Iraq and Afghanistan and State Department cables while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.
It is unclear at this time what the consequences of Teixeira’s potential involvement in the leak may be, but it is likely that the U.S. government will take the matter very seriously. If he is found to have been involved in the leak, he could be facing a long prison sentence, similar to that of Chelsea Manning. The investigation is ongoing, and more information is expected to become available in the near future.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 13, 2023