National Guardsman Exposed As Leaker Of Classified Intelligence

Multiple media outlets identified the person responsible for leaking classified U.S. intelligence documents as 21-year-old Jack Teixeira, a Massachusetts Air National Guard member. The leaks, described as the most significant in a decade, included information about U.S. involvement in the Ukraine-Russia war, intelligence operations targeting allies, and pessimistic outlooks on peace talks.

The New York Times reported that Teixeira allegedly shared the secret information with friends on a Discord server. How he would have access to such sensitive materials is still being determined. This revelation has raised serious questions about the security of classified data within the US military and intelligence community.

As a result of the leaks, relationships between the US and its allies have been strained. The leaks indicated the presence of 14 US service members in Ukraine and evidence of spying on countries such as Ukraine, Israel, and South Korea. In response to the revelation, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced that the administration has “taken steps to restrict access to sensitive information further.”

The Washington Post provided details about the alleged leaker, known as “OG,” who reportedly shared the classified material to impress friends, some of whom were foreign nationals. Members of the group that received the leaked information included citizens from Russia and Ukraine.

Teixeira was arrested at his home in Massachusetts on Thursday and was expected to appear in a Boston federal courtroom on Friday. He is being investigated for the “alleged unauthorized removal, retention and transmission of classified national defense information,” according to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The young man held the highest level of security clearance granted by the federal government for top-secret information while working as a cybersecurity systems journeyman. His security clearance and access to classified government systems have since been revoked.

While Joe Biden said nothing leaked was “of great consequence,” White House National Security spokesman John Kirby warned that the public release of sensitive information could still harm national security.

The FBI had been monitoring Teixeira in connection with the leaks but was forced to speed up their plans to arrest him after The New York Times identified him on Thursday morning. Teixeira allegedly led a Discord group called “Thug Shaker Central” and began posting classified documents in October 2021 to inform and impress his online friends.

The classified materials started circulating more widely after another group member posted several documents to a public Discord chat. By April, classified US intelligence on Ukraine was posted on the Telegram messaging app by supporters of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder called the leaks “a deliberate criminal act” and emphasized the importance of trust and responsibility within the military. He stated that distribution lists for classified information are being reviewed in response to this breach.