Pentagon leaker indicted by federal grand jury

The Massachusetts Air National Guardsman, accused of leaking classified US military documents on the instant messaging platform Discord, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston court.

21-year-old Jack Teixeira has been in federal custody since he was arrested by the FBI at his childhood home in North Dighton, Massachusetts, on April 13th.

Teixeira is accused of “retaining and transmitting classified national defense information on a social media platform beginning in or around 2022 and continuing until his arrest in April,” according to a statement released by the US Department of Justice Thursday following the indictment.

The former Airman First Class of the 102nd Intelligence Wing was indicted on six counts of willful retention, transmission, and unauthorized removal of classified information relating to national defense, the DoJ said.

For each charge, Teixeira faces up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

Pentagon Leaker bible
FBI arrest, WCVB News

“As laid out in the indictment, Jack Teixeira was entrusted by the United States government with access to classified national defense information — including information that reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to national security if shared,” said US Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.

As the FBI’s case unfolded, a trove of damaging information collected on Teixeira was presented during the guardsman’s initial court appearances.

From smashed laptops, assassination vans, and bedroom walls covered from top to bottom with camouflage, US prosecutors painted a chilling picture of the “misguided youth” at Teixeira’s bail hearing held in the weeks following his arrest.

At the time, prosecutors portrayed Teixeira as an unhinged egocentric radical with white nationalist tendencies who regularly glamorized violence, weapons, and mass murder.

Pentagon Leaker camo bedroom
Bedroom of Jack Teixeira |

At the time, Teixeira allegedly boasted about possessing the classified US military documents, which the DoJ said contained highly sensitive information about US allies and adversaries, with details ranging from Ukraine's air defenses and troop movements during the Russian invasion to Israel's Mossad spy agency.

Since the arrest, US President Joe Biden has ordered an investigation of the Massachusetts Air National Guard regarding how a low-level guardsman was able to gain access to the classified information.

According to the charges, Teixeira began posting images of the Top Secret documents inside his all-male Discord chat group “Thug Shaker Central” – complete with military standard TOP SECRET/ SECRET markings stamped across them – on or around January 2022.

Although the Discord chat room barely had two dozen members, one member uploaded some of the leaked docs to another gaming platform, eventually spreading across the internet and catching the attention of the Pentagon.

Pentagon leaker guns
Bedroom of Jack Teixeira |

The charges also stated that Teixeira was well aware that leaking the classified documents on the social messaging platform could cause injury to the United States or give an advantage to a foreign nation.

Two commanders of the unit where Teixeira worked full time were later suspended by military brass.

“Individuals granted access to classified materials have a fundamental duty to safeguard the information for the safety of the United States, our active service members, its citizens, and its allies,” said Acting US Attorney Joshua S. Levy for the District of Massachusetts.

“We are committed to ensuring that those entrusted with sensitive national security information adhere to the law, ” Levy said.

Teixeira had earlier waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

There is no word if Teixeira will try to arrange a plea deal or proceed with a jury trial.

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