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WorldMiddle EastUS National Guard arrested on suspicion of leaking Pentagon secrets

US National Guard arrested on suspicion of leaking Pentagon secrets

A member of the Massachusetts National Guard was arrested by the FBI on April 13 in connection with leaking classified Pentagon documents that were posted on the internet, transmits CNN, citing a federal official with knowledge of the investigation.

The moderator of the online game chat, where the secret Pentagon documents first appeared, was Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old US Air Force National Guard pilot from Massachusetts, writing The New York Times (NYT).

According to the newspaper, Teixeira moderated a private online group called Thug Shaker Central. It was made up of 20 to 30 people, mostly young people and teenagers, who “come together because of a shared love of guns, racist online memes, and video games,” the NYT notes.

The FBI has been interviewing a select circle of suspects in recent days, two people familiar with the matter told CNN. Although many people had access to the documents, investigators were able to isolate the most likely culprits in the leak “thanks to a forensic examination of the trail” left by the person who leaked the documents.

One of the game’s chat participants told the NYT that he had known the person who posted the information in the chat for at least three years. The NYT caller called this man “OG”. Friends of “OG” who were also on the chat described him as the oldest member of the group and “the undisputed leader”.

According to a friend, “OG” had access to classified documents thanks to his work. As one chat member put it, the “guy” who posted the docs “just wanted to let his friends know what was going on.” According to one of the online community members, the secret documents fell into the public domain after one of the chat participants posted them on one of the forums, where they were discovered by Telegram channels in Russian.

Although he is not called by his first name by OG acquaintances, the NYT claims that the digital fingerprint, particularly in the form of an online gambling profile and social media photos, leads specifically to Teixeira. .

Teixeira’s mother, Don, speaking outside her home in Massachusetts, confirmed her son was in the Air National Guard. She also said that Teixeira changed her phone number a few days ago. According to reporters, they noticed that Teixeira had arrived at the house for a while, but refused to speak to reporters, explaining that he needed to hire a lawyer first.

The leak of secret US documents became known in early April. At the same time, photographs of the documents were first posted in early March on the Discord chat platform. Then they appeared on the 4Chan platform, then on Telegram and Twitter. Subsequently, the accounts that were used for “emptying” were deleted. The “leaked” documents, in particular, contain information about the Russian-Ukrainian military conflict, preparations for a counter-offensive by the Ukrainian armed forces, as well as the situation in China and the Middle East. US President Joe Biden, commenting on the leak, said he was concerned about the very fact of the leak, but not because of the significance of the documents released. The Washington Post (WP) wrote that an employee of one of the US military bases could have organized the leak of secret documents. This post was told by participants of the chat on Discord, in which the files were first posted.

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Russia Desk
Russia Desk
The Eastern Herald’s Russia Desk validates the stories published under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on easternherald.com.

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