Mass. Air National Guardsman Scheduled to Appear in Court for Leaking Sensitive Information

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Mass. Air National Guardsman Scheduled to Appear in Court for Leaking Sensitive Information

Attorney General Merrick Garland stated that a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard who has become the primary person of interest in the re

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Attorney General Merrick Garland stated that a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard who has become the primary person of interest in the release of highly classified military data is scheduled to appear in court today after being detained by federal investigators on Thursday.

According to the authorities, Jack Teixeira, 21, of Dighton was apprehended at his house on Thursday afternoon and kept at the FBI’s Chelsea offices overnight.

Investigators think Teixeira, an intelligence specialist, was in charge of the online chat room where the documents were leaked.

Teixeira was wearing shorts and a T-shirt when FBI investigators arrived at his Massachusetts house on Thursday, and heavily armed tactical agents brought Teixeira into custody outside the building “without incident,” according to Garland.

It was unclear whether Teixeira had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf, and a message placed on his mother’s phone number that was thought to be her number was not immediately returned.

The arrest of Teixeira, according to Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey, is very concerning.

“It’s an incredibly startling revelation. We are continuing to get news. We are working closely with the federal authorities on this and certainly, we will do whatever we can to assist,” Healey said to Boston 25.

Teixeira’s emergence as the primary suspect raises concerns about how such a young, low-ranking service member could have been responsible for the most prominent intelligence leak in years, one that is still playing out with almost daily disclosures of highly classified documents.

The Biden administration has been working feverishly for days to mitigate the damage from the information leak, which has made allies’ confidential evaluations public and highlighted apparent flaws in Ukraine’s air defense capabilities.

Although they declined to confirm his identity, the National Guard issued a statement saying, “We are aware of the investigation into the alleged role a Massachusetts Air National Guardsman may have played in the recent leak of highly-classified documents.”

All inquiries regarding the matter were sent to the Justice Department by Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon spokesperson. But he added, “We have rules in place. Each of us signs a nondisclosure agreement. This is a criminal act, a willful violation of those.”

On Friday, Teixeira is scheduled to appear in Massachusetts federal court.