A 21 –year –old man was arrested by the FBI Thursday in connection with an investigation into the leak of several sensitive documents compiled by United States intelligence officials. The highly classified documents were found floating on social media sites like Twitter and Telegram, and contained details about the Russia-Ukraine war, details of the US spying on allies, and more.
“Today, the FBI took 21-year-old Jack Douglas Teixeira into custody without incident at a residence in North Dighton, Massachusetts, for his alleged involvement in leaking classified US government and military documents,” the FBI said in a brief statement on its website. “Since late last week, the FBI has aggressively pursued investigative leads, and today’s arrest exemplifies our continued commitment to identifying, pursuing, and holding accountable those who betray our country’s trust and put our national security at risk.”
Jack Douglas Teixeira has been identified as an airman with the Massachusetts Air National Guard, stationed at the Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, as per a report in The Washington Post. Local media reported that he works as a “cyber transport systems specialist.” This profile is similar to that of an IT specialist, with responsibilities including maintenance of cabling and hubs for military communications networks. A defense official told the Associated Press that Teixeira’s role would have given him a higher level of security clearance than that of an entry-level employee because he was charged with protecting the networks.
Teixeira comes from a long line of military veterans. A report in Cape Cod Times said that his stepfather had retired after 34 years of service in the same military base where he was working. His stepbrother is currently working there as well, it said, quoting Teixeira’s step-uncle.
Local media reported that Teixeira’s mother runs a flower business in Dighton and had posted a message wishing him the best for his future military career. “Jack is on his way home today, tech school complete, ready to start his career in the Air National Guard!,” the company’s Facebook page wrote in June 2021, sharing photos of a ‘Welcome home’ balloon tied to a mailbox.
One of his online friends described Teixeira as an intelligent, patriotic man and a devout Catholic with an interest in guns. “He’s a smart person. He knew what he was doing when he posted these documents, of course. These weren’t accidental leaks of any kind,” the friend told The Post. “He’s fit. He’s strong. He’s armed. He’s trained,” the friend, who has not been named, added.