According to The New York Times, a 21-year-old Air National Guard member stationed at Massachusetts was arrested Thursday by the FBI. He may have leaked hundreds classified intelligence documents.
The FBI conducted “authorized law enforcement activities” at North Dighton’s home as part of a criminal investigation into the leaks. This statement was made by the FBI after the NYT identified Jack Teixeira (a Massachusetts-based individual) who served de facto leadership of the Discord server from which the leaks were originated. The leaks could have been caused by an Air National Guard member stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina at the time of the documents being disseminated. The Wall Street Journal reported this separately, citing a U.S. official.
According to Attorney General Merrick Garland, authorities took Teixeira into custody on Thursday afternoon. This was in connection with an investigation into the possible transmission of classified defense information. He said that Teixeira would appear before the U.S. District Court of the District of Massachusetts at a future date.
Initial statements by U.S. officials to the NYT indicated that Texeira was a person of concern and could have valuable information about the investigation.
According to the NYT, Texeira allegedly managed a private Discord server that was used by 20-30 young men in their teens and early twenties.
The server members became close friends and began to revere the individual, who the NYT identified at Texeira, or “OG”. OG posted hundreds of photos of classified documents to a private Discord server, where he claimed to have access to the information through his military job. Two of his former colleagues spoke to The Washington Post under the condition of anonymity, in order to discuss the matter with the FBI, which is conducting a criminal investigation.
NYT spoke with four members of the online community that grew from a shared interest in guns and religion. The NYT didn’t confirm that Texeira was the leaker, and his friends refused to reveal his identity. However, the NYT claims that digital evidence suggests that Texeira is being implicated.
His online gaming profile, for example, shows links to the “Thug shaker Central” discord server. Items visible in the margins photos of classified documents match photos that the NYT found of items in Texeira’s home.
One of OG’s friends said to the NYT that this guy was a Christian and anti-war. He just wanted to inform his friends about what was happening. “We have people in our group that are in Ukraine. We enjoy war games and fighting games.
According to the NYT, President Joe Biden had suggested that the FBI’s investigation was nearing its end Thursday. He stated that “There is a full-blown investigation underway, as you all know, with both the intelligence community, and the Justice Department and they’re getting closer.”
He’s smart. Of course, he knew exactly what he was doing when posting these documents. One member of Discord told the Post that these were not accidental leaks.