Air National Guardsman arrested by FBI suspected of leaking classified documents

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FBI agents surrounded a Massachusetts home on Thursday in the arrest of 21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, suspected of leading highly classified U.S. intelligence documents. U.S. officials had been searching for the source of the leak, which exposed potentially hundreds of pages of intelligence about Russian efforts in Ukraine and spying on U.S. allies.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced in brief remarks at the Department of Justice that FBI agents took Teixeira into custody Thursday afternoon without incident, adding: ‘Today, the Justice Department arrested Jack Douglas Teixeira in connection with an investigation into alleged unauthorized removal, retention and transmission of classified national defense information. Teixeira is an employee of the United States Air Force National Guard.’

The FBI bureau office in Boston said in a statement that agents arrested Teixeira at a residence in North Dighton, Mass., more than an hour away from the military base where he worked.  The statement said: “The FBI is continuing to conduct authorized law enforcement activity at the residence. 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.”

According to military records, Teixeira holds the rank of airman first class and has been in uniform since entering the Air National Guard in September 2019. He has been based at Otis Air National Guard Base on Cape Cod and holds the title of cyber transport systems journeyman. The classified documents from the Department of Defense were found online last month, revealing details of U.S. spying on Russia’s war efforts in Ukraine, secret assessments of Ukraine’s combat power, as well as intelligence gathering on America’s allies, including South Korea and Israel.

AG Garland said that Teixeira will have an initial appearance at the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, adding that the investigation is ongoing.

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