PanamaTimes

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Suspect Arrested Over Pentagon Document Leaks: Report

Suspect Arrested Over Pentagon Document Leaks: Report

The FBI made a "probable cause" arrest of a man identified by authorities as a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard.
FBI agents on Thursday arrested a 21-year-old national guardsman suspected of being behind a major leak of sensitive US government secrets -- including about the Ukraine war.

Broadcast live on TV networks, the dramatic arrest was the culmination of a week-long investigation -- fuelled by frenzied media coverage -- into one of the most damaging leaks of classified information since the 2013 dump of National Security Agency documents by Edward Snowden.

Addressing a news briefing, US Attorney General Merrick Garland named the suspect as Jack Teixeira, an employee of the US Air Force National Guard and the reported leader of the online chat group where the document trove first emerged.

Arrested "in connection with an investigation into alleged unauthorized removal, retention and transmission of classified national defense information," Teixeira was taken into custody without incident by FBI agents, Garland said.

News footage of the operation, in the North Dighton area of Massachusetts, showed the suspect -- dressed in red shorts and a t-shirt with his hands behind his head -- backing slowing toward rifle-armed, camouflage-clad law enforcement personnel who took him into custody.

Police in the small town in the northeastern state sought to reassure the community about the heavy law enforcement presence, saying in a statement that there was "no threat to public safety."

Two posts on the Facebook page of the Massachusetts Air National Guard's 102nd Intelligence Wing mentioned Teixeira, including one from July 2022 that said he had been promoted to airman first class -- the third-lowest enlisted rank for air force personnel.

Teixeira was expected to make an initial appearance as early as Friday at the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

The Pentagon has said the leak presents a "very serious" risk to US national security, and spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder on Thursday condemned it as a "deliberate criminal act."

In response, the Defense Department is "examining and updating distribution lists, assessing how and where intelligence products are shared, and a variety of other steps," Ryder told journalists.

Teixeira's arrest came a day after The Washington Post reported that hundreds of pages of documents had been posted on the social media platform Discord by a man who worked on a US military base.

Top secret material

According to The New York Times, a "trail of digital evidence" pointed to Teixeira as the leader of the private group on Discord, called Thug Shaker Central, where the documents surfaced.

The embarrassing security breach -- which included top secret documents -- has revealed US unease over the viability of a coming counteroffensive by Kyiv's forces against Russian troops as well as concerns about Ukrainian air defenses, and pointed to US spying on allies including Israel and South Korea.

President Joe Biden addressed the leak during a visit to Ireland, saying he was "concerned" but that the intelligence community and Justice Department were "getting close" to identifying the source of the leak.

The alleged leaker reportedly went by the nickname "OG" and regularly posted documents in the chat group in question for months.

The group of around 24 people, including some from Russia and Ukraine, bonded over their "mutual love of guns, military gear and God," and formed an "invitation-only clubhouse in 2020 on Discord," reported the Post -- which like the Times cited unidentified members of Thug Shaker Central.

OG told the group members that he spent "some of his day inside a secure facility that prohibited cellphones and other electronic devices," the Post report said.

He first wrote down the contents of classified documents to share with the group, but later began taking photos, telling other members not to share them, the newspaper reported.

OG had a "dark view of the government," and "spoke of the United States, and particularly law enforcement and the intelligence community, as a sinister force that sought to suppress its citizens and keep them in the dark," the Post said, citing one of the group's members.

A Discord spokesperson told AFP that user safety is a priority, and that content violating its policies can result in people being banned, servers being shut down, and police alerted.

"In regards to the apparent breach of classified material, we are cooperating with law enforcement," the spokesperson said.

"As this remains an active investigation, we cannot provide further comment at this time."
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
El Salvador's Bitcoin Holdings Reach $350 Million
Teens Forming Friendships with AI Chatbots
WhatsApp Rolls Out Major Redesign
Neuralink's First Brain Implant Experiences Issue
Apple Unveils New iPad Pro with M4 Chip, Misleading AI Claims
OpenAI to Announce Google Search Competitor
Apple Apologizes for Controversial iPad Pro Ad Featuring Instrument Destruction
German politician of the AFD party, Marie-Thérèse Kaiser was just convicted & fined $6,000+
Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Jail
Biden Administration to Relax Marijuana Regulations
101-Year-Old Woman Mistaken for a Baby by American Airlines: Comical Mix-Up during Flight Check-in
King Charles and Camilla enjoying the Inuit voice singing performance in Canada.
New Study: Vaping May Lower Fertility in Women Trying to Get Pregnant
U.S. DOJ Seeks Three-Year Sentence for Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao
Headlines - Thursday, 23 April 2024
Illinois Woman Wins $45M Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson and Kenvue for Mesothelioma Linked to Baby Powder
Panama's lates news for Friday, April 19
Creative menu of a Pizza restaurant..
You can be a very successful player, but a player with character is another level!
Experience the Future of Dining: My Visit to an AI-Powered Burger Joint
Stabbing rampage terror attack in Sydney, at least four people killed, early reports that a baby was among those stabbed.
Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight. Israel Reports Light Damage After Iran Launches Large Strike.
I will never get enough of his videos and the pure joy and beauty of these women!!
Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed an "invisibility cloak", for AI using adversarial patterns on a sweater, making the wearer nearly undetectable to standard object detection methods.
Lamborghini Bids Farewell to Its Best-Selling Sports Car: The Huracán
Sam Bankman-Fried Appeals 25-Year Prison Sentence for $8bn FTX Fraud
OJ Simpson, ex-NFL star who was acquitted of murder, dies aged 76
British Backpacker Imprisoned in Notorious Bolivian Prison: Family Raises Funds for Legal Fight and Essentials
Argentina: Venezuela Cuts Power to Embassy after Opposition Meeting
El Salvador Offers 5,000 Passports to Skilled Foreign Workers: Tax-Free Relocation and Citizenship
Panama Papers Trial Begins: Founders of Mossack Fonseca Face Money-Laundering Charges
75 Becomes the New 65: Retiring in Your 60s Unrealistic as Life Expectancy Increases and Costs Rise
Total Solar Eclipse of 2021: 32 Million Witness the Mystical, $1.5bn Spectacle Sweep Across North America
New shopping experience…
New world, new reality, let’s get used to it
UK Company Passes Milestone in Developing Space-Based Solar Power, Aiming to Power a Million Homes and Provide Constant Energy
Mexico Breaks Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador after Police Storm Embassy, Arrest Former Vice President
Monty Python were so ahead of their time
If there's a will, there's a way!
Rules about how to dress are important, but not so much if you have a lot of money.
Body Armor Firm Showcases Stab-Proof Vest in Demo on CEO
Mexico Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador After Embassy Stormed in Quito
Here is a tattoo idea, for engineers
Zoraya Ter Beek, a 28-year-old woman from the Netherlands, will undergo euthanasia in May due to severe mental health challenges
Here's a video featuring Fidel Castro, where he discusses his stance against war and his commitment to preserving life, positions that have put him at odds with the USA:
Woman reaches behind and steals gun from a security guard and shoots three people while getting detained in Chile
Take a walk around the safe and thriving downtown San Salvador.
Joe Biden criticised by Trump campaign for declaring Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday
Macron says France will help Brazil develop nuclear-powered submarines
A video demonstrating women's self defense class in 1930
×