Jack Teixeira: National Guard Airman Arrested Over Leaked Pentagon Documents

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A 21-year-old US Air National Guardsman has been arrested over a leak of classified military intelligence that has rattled the US and its allies.

Jack Teixeira, who reportedly shared the files in an online gaming chatroom, faces charges under the Espionage Act.

Aerial footage showed officers making an arrest at Mr Teixeira’s family home in Dighton, Massachusetts.

The documents he leaked revealed intelligence about the war in Ukraine and US spying on allies.

Footage of the arrest in the town of 8,000 people about an hour south of Boston shows a young man, believed to be Mr Teixeira, walking backwards with his hands raised to armed FBI officers. He was handcuffed and led to a vehicle.

Roads in the area were blocked by police officers during the arrest.

“There were about six to eight Army guys with rifles walking around,” local resident Dick Treacy told Reuters news agency. “This is a very quiet area.”

Mr Teixeira is expected to make his first court appearance in Boston on Friday.

He was listed as a member of the intelligence wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, based at Otis Air National Guard Base in western Cape Cod.

According to his service record, obtained by CBS News, the BBC’s US partner, Mr Teixeira joined the force in 2019.

His official title is Cyber Transport Systems journeyman and he holds the rank of Airman 1st Class – a relatively junior position.

In a brief statement on Thursday, US Attorney General Merrick Garland said the suspect had been taken into custody without incident.

Mr Garland provided no further details on the investigation or the motive for the leaks.

At a separate news conference earlier in the day, defence department spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said the leak was a “deliberate criminal act”.

When asked how such a young airman had access to classified defence documents, Gen Ryder said that across the US military, personnel are entrusted “with a lot of responsibility at a very early age”.

“Think about a young combat platoon sergeant, and the responsibility and trust that we put into those individuals to lead troops into combat,” he said.

Eddy Souza, a 22-year-old man who said he went to school with Mr Teixeira, told Reuters he was surprised his former classmate had been identified as the suspect in the leaks.

“He’s a good kid, not a troublemaker, just a quiet guy,” Mr Souza said. “It sounds like it was a stupid kid’s mistake.”

What was in the leaks?

Starting several months ago, at least 50 but perhaps more than 100 classified documents were posted on Discord – a social media platform popular with gamers.

The documents – which BBC News is examining – contain a range of intelligence assessments about the war in Ukraine, but also sensitive intelligence about countries around the world.

A defence department spokesman said the Pentagon is continuing to work to “understand the scope, scale and impact of these leaks”.

In a statement, Republican congressman Mike Turner – the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee – vowed to “examine why this happened, why it went unnoticed for weeks, and how to prevent future leaks”.

Source: British Broadcasting Corporation