(TheLastPatriotNews.com) – The FBI arrested a young intelligence operative with the Massachusetts Air National Guard for leaking online dozens of Defense Department classified documents.
21-year-old Jack Teixeria was nabbed at his mother’s house in North Dighton, Massachusetts, a town about 20 miles east of Providence, Rhode Island, The New York Post reported.
Teixeira led a channel on the social media platform “Discord” called “Thug Shaker Central,” whose members were united by their “love of guns and video games,” according to The National Review.
The Massachusetts Air National Guardsman is implicated in the leak of possibly hundreds of pages of classified US military intelligence documents considered “the biggest national security breach in at least ten years” – which the Post also dubbed “the game geek leak.”
News helicopter footage showed Teixeira’s arrest as the suspect wearing a gray t-shirt and red shorts, surrendered to camouflage-clad FBI agents.
The suspected leaker was scheduled to appear in a federal court in Boston on Friday.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland states that the airman will be charged over the “alleged unauthorized removal, retention, and transmission of classified national defense information.”
US Air Force records show that Teixeira is a “Cyber Transport Systems Journeyman, responsible for the upkeep of hardware for military communications networks, including cabling and hubs.”
“This is a law enforcement matter,” Defense Department spokesman Patrick Ryder, a US Air Force Brigadier General, told a news conference on Thursday.
“This was a deliberate criminal act,” he added, refusing to give details about the investigation into the leak.
The hundreds of pages leaked for weeks on Discord and 4Chan before they were reposted to Twitter and noticed by the media and government officials consisted primarily of briefing slides about Russia’s war against Ukraine.
The records also revealed broader international security developments around the war in Ukraine, such as the US government’s attempts to convince South Korea to supply ammunition or Egypt’s intention to sell 40,000 rockets to the Russians.
The motives of the suspected leaker remain unclear, but they might not be political. Exiled Russian journalists and Ukrainian pundits have commented that Putin’s intelligence may have been the first to notice the leaked US documents in gaming chatrooms and may have doctored some of the pages for propaganda.
Teixeira joined the US military in September 2019. An anonymous defense official told the AP he may have had a high security clearance level. Still, “how such a young service member could have access to such sensitive information” remains unclear since he was not even an intelligence analyst.
“He’s fit. He’s strong. He’s armed. He’s trained. Just about everything you can expect out of some sort of crazy movie,” an anonymous member of Teixeira’s Thug Shaker Central channel on Discord told The Washington Post.
“I was one of the very few people in the server that was able to understand that these [documents] were legitimate,” the unnamed source added.
“It felt like I was on top of Mount Everest. I felt like I was above everyone else to some degree and that…I knew stuff that they didn’t,” the source said further.
What is your reaction to the arrest of Jack Teixeria? Share your thoughts and opinions by emailing [email protected]. Thank you.