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Air National Guardsman Arrested For Leaking Classified Documents In Discord Chat

Haley Kennington

Jack Teixeira, 21, has been arrested by the FBI for leaking a collection of classified documents online. It turns out, the FBI had been following a lead online for the last few days in order to uncover Teixeira’s identity.

Teixeira was in the Massachusetts Air National Guard where he worked as an IT specialist, specifically a “cyber transport systems specialist”.

The North Dighton resident is accused of using the social media platform Discord to distribute classified information to roughly 20-30 fellow users. Discord is a messaging platform known to be used primarily by gamers and content creators.

Teixeira was in charge of a private Discord group called Thug Shaker Central, where he was known by the screen name “O.G”.

First posting typed-out notations, “O.G”  later posted images of folded-up papers when he felt his claims were not believed. From there, other users in the Discord server disseminated some of the files across the Internet.

Of the leaked documents, 53 were reviewed by CNN. They “included a wide range of highly classified information, including eavesdropping on key allies and adversaries and blunt assessments on the state of the Ukraine war.”

According to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Teixeira is under investigation for his, “alleged unauthorized removal, retention and transmission of classified national defense information.”

An email from the DOD was reviewed by Fox News and showed that Teixeira joined the Air National Guard in late 2019, where he held the highest level security clearance granted by the federal government dealing in top secret information.

Teixeira’s clearance has since been revoked after his activity on Discord was brought to the DOD’s attention.

Fox News further reports that an unnamed source told the outlet, “The FBI began surveilling Teixeira in connection with the leaks before Thursday but were forced to accelerate their plans to arrest him after The New York Times identified him on Thursday morning.”

These leaks are “a deliberate criminal act,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder. “We entrust our members with a lot of responsibility at a very early age,” Ryder told reporters during a press conference on Thursday, following Teixeira’s arrest.

When Biden was asked for comment on the matter he told the press that he was not able to give an update but reiterated that a full-blown investigation is ongoing with the intelligence community and within the Justice Department.

“I don’t have an answer for you. I’m concerned that it happened, but there is nothing contemporaneous that I’m aware of that is of great consequence.”

But, seeing how many local officers, federal agents, and other agencies descended on Teixeira, one would think whatever was being shared, first within private Discord servers, and later publicly was of more significance than the general public is being told.

Teixeira made his first appearance in court early Friday morning before Magistrate Judge David Hennessy. CNN reported he was seen entering the courtroom in shackles, wearing a Massachusetts Department of Corrections tan shirt, pants and hiking boots.

After NYT published the story identifying Teixeira, he spoke to members of the Thug Shaker Central group saying, “I’m sorry, guys, I prayed every single day that this wouldn’t happen. I prayed, and I prayed, and now it’s only up to God what happens next.”

The full criminal complaint against Jack Teixeira can be read here, as well as the affidavit here.

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Haley Kennington

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