UPDATE: The FBI has arrested 21-year-old National Guardsman Jack Teixeira in connection with the massive leak of U.S. intelligence documents.
Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old national guardsman, has been arrested in Massachusetts in connection to the leak of U.S. intelligence documents. pic.twitter.com/952hdhNoDF
— The Recount (@therecount) April 13, 2023
The New York Times reported earlier today that a 21-year-old member of the intelligence wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard has been identified as the leader of an online gaming group where top secret U.S. documents were shared before making their way onto the internet last month.
The leaked documents contained assessments of Ukraine’s military strength, information showing the U.S. had infiltrated Russian intelligence, and more.
Breaking News: The leader of an online group at the core of a huge leak of secret U.S. documents is an Air National Guardsman, interviews and papers show. https://t.co/sZV54rzzhw pic.twitter.com/joQlg034uI
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 13, 2023
From the New York Times:
The national guardsman, whose name is Jack Teixeira, oversaw a private online group named Thug Shaker Central, where about 20 to 30 people, mostly young men and teenagers, came together over a shared love of guns, racist online memes and video games.
Federal investigators have been searching for days for the person who leaked the top secret documents online but have not identified Airman Teixeira or anyone else as a suspect. The F.B.I. declined to comment.
The New York Times spoke with four members of the Thug Shaker Central chat group, one of whom said he has known the person who leaked for at least three years, had met him in person, and referred to him as the O.G.
The friends described him as older than most of the group members, who were in their teens, and the undisputed leader. One of the friends said the O.G. had access to intelligence documents through his job.
A lot hasn’t been made of it yet, but that part about coming together “over a shared love of guns, racist online memes” should be raising some eyebrows in my opinion.
One of the members of the group described “O.G.” as “a Christian, anti-war” who “just wanted to inform some of his friends about what’s going on.” They said the secret documents were “never meant to leave their small corner of the internet.”
Imagine that – who could have possibly foreseen that something posted to only part of the internet would wind up being on all of the internet?
As one person commented on the NY Times piece, “I think a lot of today’s teenagers don’t understand that, in the real world, when it’s ‘game over,’ it’s really game over.
Read the full article here.
Jack Teixeira, this Air Nat Guardsman, ran a Discord server full of kids whose hobbies include sharing racist memes. There, classified military intel was shared. Eventually Russian intel would distribute modified versions to push disinfo about Ukraine.https://t.co/SeVLzXAizD
— Kris Goldsmith (@KrisGoldsmith85) April 13, 2023
Two members of the group also corroborated much of this to reporters at the Washington Post.
The Post reports viewing a video clip of the man who the member said is “O.G.” standing at a shooting range, wearing safety glasses and ear coverings and holding a large rifle. Before firing several rounds at a target, he yells a series of racial and antisemitic slurs into the camera.
(CNN) — A member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard is expected to be arrested soon in connection with the leaking of classified documents that have been posted online, according to a law enforcement source. @evanperez reporting https://t.co/odlgz6tm01
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) April 13, 2023