FBI arrests airman for allegedly stealing hundreds of classified military documents

The FBI has arrested a 21-year-old Massachusetts man in connection with the leaking of classified U.S. documents that have made headlines around the world.

“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,” the FBI said in a statement.

“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.”

According to CNN, Teixeira is a member of the Massachusetts Air Guard.

Copies and photos of the allegedly stolen documents were initially posted on a members-only group on the Discord messaging site for online gamers. The documents were initially only for that group, but recently someone published them more widely, leading to their discovery by reporters.

Some of the photographed documents showed portions of a room, which may have helped investigators. But investigators would also have been looking for people who had access to the roughly 300 pages of documents.

The arrest comes after the Washington Post on Wednesday published an interview with a member of that Discord group who says the leaker allegedly worked on an unnamed American military base. This person told the Post the leaker was known to the group as “OG,” who claimed he spent at least some of his day inside a secure facility that prohibited cellphones and other electronic devices.

Teixeira was also named by the New York Times. It said Airman Teixeira is enlisted in the 102nd Intelligence Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard.  CNN said his official job is Cyber Transport Systems journeyman. According to the Air Force, Cyber Transport Systems specialists are tasked with making sure the service’s “vast, global communications network” is operating correctly.

According to CNN, many of the stolen documents had markings indicating that they had been produced by the intelligence arm of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The authenticity of the leaked documents, many labeled Secret or Top Secret, has not been verified. Some sources say many look authentic, while others think some have been altered. They cover a wide range of material including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, claims of a pro-Russia hacking group that it accessed a Canadian gas company’s infrastructure, intelligence on North Korean preparations for an ICBM test flight and more.

Today, news services published documents apparently from the same cache, allegedly with a U.S. analysis of the thinking of U.N. Secretary Antonio Guterres.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer. Former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, Howard has written for several of ITWC's sister publications, including ITBusiness.ca. Before arriving at ITWC he served as a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times.

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