The FBI on Thursday (April 13) arrested Jack Teixeria, a 21-year-old intelligence operative with the Massachusetts Air National Guard, who is believed to be the prime suspect behind the recent leak of highly classified US intelligence documents.
"Today, the FBI took 21-year-old Jack Douglas Teixeira into custody without incident at a residence in North Dighton, Massachusetts, for his alleged involvement in leaking classified U.S. government and military documents." the agency said in a statement.
"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." the statement added.
The arrest comes amid an ongoing probe into the leak of more than 100 classified documents on social media.
Teixeira was assigned to Otis Air National Guard Base on Joint Base Cape Cod, where he was responsible for helping to keep the Air Force communication system running. He was reportedly a member of an online social-media platform, Discord, and led a channel known as Thug Shaker Central that bonded over a love of guns and video games.
The leaked documents consisted of briefing slides of operational data from the ongoing war in Ukraine. The classified material included maps of Ukrainian air defense systems and details about South Korea’s unsuccessful attempts to deliver hundreds-of-thousands of ammunition rounds to Ukraine.
According to a report in The New York Times, classified documents includes intelligent briefings on how China contemplated providing crucial military aid to Russia and incident involving a Russian fighter jet targeting a British surveillance vehicle, “could have amounted to an act of war.
The current leak could be potentially more damaging than Wikileaks and the Edward Snowden cache given its relevance to an ongoing war.
In 2013, Snowden, who was then working as an IT contractor with National Security Agency(NSA), leaked highly classified information that revealed numerous global surveillance programs by the NSA and other U.S intelligence agencies.
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