National Guardsman in the US faces charges for illegally transmitting classified documents.
A 21-year-old US National Guardsman has been accused of leaking classified United States government documents.
Jack Teixeira was charged with the “unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information” at a hearing in Boston.
He was arrested following a week-long investigation in connection with one of the most damaging leaks of secrets since Edward Snowden’s dump of National Security Agency documents in 2013.
The leak has raised questions about why someone in such a junior position had access to such potentially damaging secrets. Teixeira appeared before a judge and was detained pending a detention hearing set for next Wednesday.
The leak revealed American concerns about weaknesses in Ukraine’s military and US spying on allies such as Israel and South Korea.
Teixeira is suspected of posting documents, some dated as recently as early March, to a private chat group on the social media platform Discord under the nickname “OG”.
He was not required to enter a plea. The New York Times reported that he was the leader of the group called Thug Shaker Central, and initially wrote down the contents of classified documents to share with the group, but later began taking photos, telling other members not to share them, according to the Washington Post. Some of the documents later appeared on other sites, including Twitter, 4Chan, and Telegram.
Teixeira enlisted with the US Air Force National Guard in September 2019 and was an IT and communications specialist who reached the rank of airman first class.
Friends of Teixeira described him to the Washington Post as a devout Catholic and libertarian who is interested in guns.
The leak has not suggested Teixeira’s motive yet. Teixeira’s father spent 34 years in the same military unit as his son, while his mother worked for non-profit organizations supporting veterans. Teixeira’s arrest was shown live on US TV networks.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters that Teixeira had been arrested “in connection with an investigation into alleged unauthorized removal, retention, and transmission of classified national defense information.
” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered a review of intelligence access, accountability, and control procedures within the Defense Department to prevent such incidents from happening again.
(Jowhar with AFP)