On Thursday, FBI investigators arrested Jack Teixeira, a young national guardsman who has been accused of leaking sensitive classified documents. Teixeira is the leader of a small online gaming chat group where classified U.S. intelligence documents leaked over the last few months. The 21-year-old is a member of the intelligence wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. The national guardsman oversaw a private online group called Thug Shaker Central, where about 20 to 30 people, mostly young men, and teens, shared a love of video games and guns. It appears that the FBI was able to find the young man after chatroom members turned him into investigators. A Boston court filing also alleges that on April 6, Teixeira searched through intelligence reporting using his work computer to see if there was reporting on a leak.
FBI investigators arrested him without incident in Dighton, Massachusetts, on Thursday before bundling the 21-year-old into the back of a police van.
Teixeira allegedly posted the documents under his online ‘Jack the Dripper’ for months before the leak was uncovered.
He worked at the Otis Air National Guard Base in western Cape Cod, employed as a junior cyber security specialist in the intelligence unit. It is currently believed that the leaks began on a social media platform called Discord, which has gained popularity in the gaming community. The young man apparently chose the site as a place to share the information, along with posts about games and guns.
A court document shows that an online friend of Teixeira turned him over to the FBI. The anonymous source apparently spoke with the federal agents on April 10 about the posting of the classified documents. Agent Patrick Lueckenhoff signed an affidavit regarding the information gleaned from the Discord chat room source. Multiple chatroom members helped investigators find the identity of the man who shared the documents.
An important question is how did Teixeira obtain the information in the first place? Twitter users are asking, “How was a 21-year-old reservist Jack Teixeira (being arrested here), able to gain access to highly classified U.S. intel? Any Idea?”
This is a completely valid question many Americans are asking, "How was a 21-year-old reservist Jack Teixeira (being arrested here) able to gain access to highly classified US intel?" Any idea? pic.twitter.com/l5cUleqVPa
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) April 13, 2023
The ability for a low-ranking member to have access to highly classified documents does not make sense, according to another Twitter user who says, “access to information would be done with a need to know.”
🚨The Pentagon Leaker Jack Teixeira Story does not add up or make much sense.
It’s not uncommon for a low ranking to have a TS SCI Clearance. Although access to information would be done with a need to know.
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Jack was a Cyber Transport Systems Specialist.
Overview here👇… pic.twitter.com/Asdgk7JV7w
— Joshua Reid (@realjoshuareid) April 14, 2023
Teixeira faces two federal charges and, if convicted could face up to 15 years in prison.