Jack Teixeira

American airman and alleged leaker (born 2001)

Years of service2019–presentRankAirman first classUnit102nd Intelligence Wing

Jack Douglas Teixeira (/tˈʃɛərə/ tay-SHAIR; born December 2001) is an American airman in the 102nd Intelligence Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. In April 2023, following an investigation into the removal and disclosure of hundreds of classified Pentagon documents, Teixeira was arrested by FBI agents and charged with unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information in violation of the Espionage Act of 1917 and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material.

Early life

Teixeira was born in December 2001.[1][2] Teixeira's stepfather is a retired master sergeant in the United States Air Force.[3] His stepfather and stepbrother worked at Joint Base Cape Cod.[4] His mother worked for a non-profit organization that supported military veterans.[5]

Teixeira is of Portuguese descent; his grandfather immigrated to the United States from São Miguel Island, in the Azores.[6][5]

He graduated from Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School in 2020, but missed his graduation ceremony to attend United States Air Force Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.[7][8][9]

Career

Upon graduating from high school, Teixeira joined the 102nd Intelligence Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard as a Cyber Transport Systems journeyman in September 2019.[10] Teixeira was stationed at Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod.[11] In July 2022, Teixeira was promoted to airman first class.[12] Many U.S. military personnel in technology or intelligence positions, even those of relatively low rank, are entrusted with access to classified information.[why?][13][14][15] As part of his job, Teixeira held a Top Secret security clearance.[16][17] He was also the recipient of an Air Force Achievement Medal.[18]

Alleged publication of leaked material

In early April 2023, Teixeira was alleged by media to have regularly shared classified information in a server on the online chat service Discord called "Thug Shaker Central",[19][20] beginning at least by October 2022, both transcribed from documents he read and from printouts removed from his office on base.[21][22][7] Chatroom members reportedly talked about and played video games together;[23] according to The New York Times, Teixeira was identified as the chatroom administrator.[7] Reports of the server's size vary, between about two dozen and about fifty members.[24][23][17]

On February 28, 2023, a Thug Shaker Central member was alleged to have posted dozens of pictures of classified documents to another Discord server.[24] From there, someone else alleges they posted images found on that server to a Discord server associated with the Minecraft video game.[24] After classified documents began appearing on Russian-language Telegram channels, The New York Times first reported on the leak.[3] On April 21, The New York Times reported that a Discord account with similar characteristics as the online profile of Teixeira had shared written summaries of classified information and likely shared photographs of documents to a Discord server with about 600 members from about February 2022 until about March 2023.[17]

Arrest and prosecution

The criminal complaint filed against Teixeira in federal court

On the morning of April 13, 2023, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested Teixeira at his home in Dighton,[10] where Teixeira lived with his mother and stepfather.[25] Next to his bed, investigators found Teixeira's stockpile of weapons, including handguns, shotguns, bolt-action rifles, an AK-style rifle with high-capacity magazine, a gas mask, and other weapons.[25]

The next day, Teixeira made his first appearance at the U.S. District Court in Boston before a U.S. magistrate judge, and the formal charging document was unsealed.[26][27] He was charged with two offenses: (1) violating the Espionage Act of 1917 by retaining and transmitting national defense information without authorization and (2) unauthorized removal and retention of classified information.[27][26] The first charge has a maximum prison sentence of ten years; the second charge, a maximum of five years.[28][29] A supporting affidavit from a FBI Counterintelligence Division special agent was attached to the criminal complaint.[30]

Teixeira is represented by counsel from the federal public defender's office,[31] who requested and received postponement of Teixeira's detention hearing to allow more time to review the case.[32] In advance of an April 27 detention hearing, the prosecution and defense filed memos with the court. The prosecution advocated ongoing detention without bond, arguing that Teixeira posed a "serious flight risk"; the prosecution's memo alleged Teixeira had attempted to obstruct the federal investigation by destroying evidence; might still possess secret information of "tremendous value to hostile nation states"; and had a record of making racist and violent comments, including in late 2022 and early 2023.[33][25][34][35] To support detention without bond, prosecutors also raised an incident from while Teixeira was a high school sophomore in 2018 that resulted in his suspension from school and prevented him from obtaining a gun license until he joined the National Guard.[25][36][37][38] Prosecutors also alleged that Teixeira's supervisors had in September and October 2022 and January 2023 caught him taking notes on classified material or viewing material not needed for his job, and admonished him to "cease and desist".[39] At a May 19 hearing, a judge ruled Teixeira would be held without bail until trial.[40][41] On June 15, Teixeira was indicted,[42] and he pleaded not guilty in court on June 21.[43]

References

  1. ^ Rebecca Falconer, Prosecutors call Pentagon leak suspect an ongoing national security risk, Axios (April 27, 2023): "Teixeira, who was born in 2001, ..."
  2. ^ Autran, Frédéric. "Patriote raté, catholique fervent, fan d'armes… ce que l'on sait sur Jack Teixeira, le principal suspect des fuites du Pentagone". Libération (in French). Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  3. ^ a b Willis, Haley; Gibbons-Neff, Thomas; Toler, Aric; Triebert, Christiaan; Barnes, Julian E.; Browne, Malachy (14 April 2023). "F.B.I. Arrests National Guardsman in Leak of Classified Documents". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 13 April 2023. Retrieved 22 April 2023.
  4. ^ Coffey, Denise (13 April 2023). "MA Air National Guardsman from Dighton stationed on Cape Cod, arrested over military leaks". Cape Cod Times. Archived from the original on 14 April 2023. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  5. ^ a b "Quem é Jack Teixeira, o descendente de portugueses suspeito de vazar documentos sigilosos dos EUA". G1. 14 April 2023. Archived from the original on 14 April 2023. Retrieved 14 April 2023.
  6. ^ "É lusodescendente o líder do grupo online que partilhou documentos confidenciais dos EUA sobre a guerra: Jack Teixeira, novas informações" [The Leader of the Online Group That Shared Confidential US Documents About the War is of Portuguese Descent: Jack Teixeira, New Information]. CNN Portugal (in Portuguese). 13 April 2023. Archived from the original on 14 April 2023. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  7. ^ a b c Toler, Aric; Triebert, Christiaan; Willis, Haley; Browne, Malachy; Schwirtz, Michael; Mellen, Riley (13 April 2023). "The Airman Who Wanted to Give Gamers a Real Taste of War". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 13 April 2023. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  8. ^ Lamothe, Dan; Hill, Evan; Horton, Alex; Ryan, Missy (14 April 2023) [April 13, 2023]. "He's From a Military Family—And Allegedly Leaked U.S. Secrets". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 14 April 2023. Retrieved 14 April 2023.
  9. ^ Wendling, Mike (14 April 2023). "Jack Teixeira: National Guard Airman Arrested Over Leaked Pentagon Documents". BBC News. Archived from the original on 13 April 2023. Retrieved 14 April 2023.
  10. ^ a b Perez, Evan; Herb, Jeremy; Bertrand, Natasha; Cohen, Zachary; Liptak, Kevin (14 April 2023). "FBI arrests 21-year-old Air Force guardsman in Pentagon leak case". CNN. Archived from the original on 13 April 2023. Retrieved 23 June 2023.
  11. ^ Tran, Ken; Mansfield, Erin; Carless, Will (13 April 2023). "Who leaked the Pentagon documents? What we know about Jack Teixeira, the suspected DOD leaker". USA Today. Archived from the original on 14 April 2023. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  12. ^ Dress, Brad (13 April 2023). "What we know about suspected Pentagon leaker Jack Teixeira". The Hill. Archived from the original on 13 April 2023. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  13. ^ Merchant, Nomaan; Smith, Michelle R. (14 April 2023). "Leak suspect yearned to join military but then regretted it". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 17 April 2023. Retrieved 17 April 2023.
  14. ^ Dave Philipps (21 April 2023). "Transcript: Why Low-Ranking Soldiers Have Access to Top Secret Documents". The Daily. The New York Times.
  15. ^ Lara Seligman (13 April 2023). "A 21-year-old with top secret access? It's not as rare as you think". Politico.
  16. ^ Manzhos, Mariya; Barrett, Devlin; Wagner, John (14 April 2023). "Suspect charged in case involving leaked classified military documents". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 19 April 2023. Retrieved 17 April 2023.
  17. ^ a b c Toler, Aric; Browne, Malachy; Barnes, Julian E. (21 April 2023). "Airman Shared Sensitive Intelligence More Widely and for Longer Than Previously Known". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 22 April 2023. Retrieved 22 April 2023.
  18. ^ Bergengruen, Vera; Hennigan, W.J. (13 April 2023). "The Strange Saga of Jack Teixeira Reveals New Security Challenges". Time. Archived from the original on 13 April 2023. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  19. ^ "Leak of military secrets on Discord marks a new step for social media". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 13 April 2023. Retrieved 14 April 2023.
  20. ^ Harris, Shane; Oakford, Samuel; Barrett, Devlin; Stein, Perry (13 April 2023). "Suspected leaker of top-secret Pentagon documents arrested". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 13 April 2023. Retrieved 14 April 2023.
  21. ^ Harris, Shane; Oakford, Samuel (12 April 2023). "Discord member details how documents leaked from closed chat group". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 13 April 2023. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  22. ^ Harris, Shane; Barrett, Devlin; Nakashima, Ellen (14 April 2023). "Leak raises fresh questions about Pentagon's internal security". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  23. ^ a b Carpenter, Nicole (14 April 2023). "Why Discord is at the heart of a major US intelligence leak". Polygon. Archived from the original on 14 April 2023. Retrieved 14 April 2023.
  24. ^ a b c Harris, Shane; Oakford, Samuel; Barrett, Devlin (21 April 2023). "FBI leak investigators home in on members of private Discord server". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 23 April 2023. Retrieved 22 April 2023.
  25. ^ a b c d Glenn Thrush (27 April 2023). "Airman Accused of Leak Has History of Racist and Violent Remarks, Filing Says". New York Times.
  26. ^ a b John R. Ellement; Shelley Murphy; Travis Andersen (14 April 2023). "Guardsman charged with violation of Espionage Act in federal court". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 15 April 2023. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  27. ^ a b Saraya Wintersmith (14 April 2023). "Accused leaker of secret documents makes first federal court appearance in Boston". WGBH. Archived from the original on 15 April 2023. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  28. ^ Gozzi, Laura; Debusmann, Bernd (14 April 2023). "US leak: What punishment could Jack Teixeira face?". BBC News. Archived from the original on 21 April 2023. Retrieved 22 April 2023.
  29. ^ Petrishen, Brad (22 April 2023). "Accused military leaker Jack Teixeira to face detention hearing in Worcester Thursday". The Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Archived from the original on 22 April 2023. Retrieved 22 April 2023.
  30. ^ Helmore, Edward; Borger, Julian (14 April 2023). "Jack Teixeira, suspect in Pentagon leaks, charged under Espionage Act". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 15 April 2023.
  31. ^ John R. Ellement, Detention hearing for Teixeira set for Thursday in Worcester Archived April 24, 2023, at the Wayback Machine, Boston Globe (April 24, 2023).
  32. ^ Gurman, Sadie; Youssef, Nancy A. (19 April 2023). "Airman Jack Teixeira's Detention Hearing Postponed". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 19 April 2023. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
  33. ^ Zachary Cohen & Hannah Rabinowitz (27 April 2023). "Prosecutors say leaks suspect has history of making violent threats and possessed an 'arsenal of weapons'". CNN.
  34. ^ Richer, Alanna Durkin; Tucker, Eric; Copp, Tara (27 April 2023). "Guardsman in leaked docs case talked of violence, may still possess secrets, feds say". Associated Press. Retrieved 27 April 2023.
  35. ^ Ables, Kelsey (27 April 2023). "Discord leaks suspect discussed mass violence, had 'arsenal,' prosecutors say". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 April 2023.
  36. ^ Nancy A. Youssef; Sadie Gurman (27 April 2023). "Denied a Gun License Over School Threat, Accused Leaker Jack Teixeira Later Got Top-Secret Clearance". Wall Street Journal.
  37. ^ Mike Damiano (27 April 2023). "Guns and threats of violence: A darker picture emerges of accused leaker Jack Teixeira". Boston Globe.
  38. ^ Travis Andersen (27 April 2023). "After police denied Jack Teixeira's gun license application twice, he wrote a letter touting his security clearance". Boston Globe.
  39. ^ Ally Jarmanning (17 May 2023). "Mass. airman accused in leak case was previously caught accessing classified documents, feds say". WBUR.
  40. ^ Rabinowitz, Hannah (19 May 2023). "Pentagon leaks suspect to remain detained as he awaits trial". CNN. Retrieved 27 May 2023.
  41. ^ Shelley Murphy; Nick Stoico (19 May 2023). "Jack Teixeira, Air National Guardsman accused of leaking secrets, will remain in custody awaiting trial, judge rules". The Boston Globe.
  42. ^ Thrush, Glenn (15 June 2023). "Airman Is Indicted on Charges of Mishandling Secrets". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 June 2023.
  43. ^ Shelley Murphy (21 June 2023). "Jack Teixeira, Air National Guardsman, pleads not guilty to six federal charges". The Boston Globe.

External links

  • Media related to Jack Teixeira at Wikimedia Commons


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