After a few days of investigation, the FBI arrested the man suspected to have leaked classified documents from the Pentagon. The man, Jack Douglas Teixeira, was arrested on Thursday at his mother’s home without a conflict.
“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 FBI 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.”
Last month, classified documents were leaked from the Pentagon and first shared on the social media platform Discord. 21-year-old Teixeira is said to be the leader of the Discord chat group where the information was first shared. The shared documents showed how the United States was spying on its foes and allies alike.
How the suspect was arrested
Although Teixeira is just 21, his arrest needed to be as calm as possible. He is a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard and has been trained in handling weapons. Additionally, his social media posts revealed that he could have a military assault rifle and other guns. There were fears that if he was to be arrested forcefully, there could be a deadly shootout with the authorities. Hence, a harmless arrest was planned.
After every finding pointed to Teixeira, the FBI wanted the safest possible arrest by allowing him to come to work before taking him into custody. Unfortunately, the 21-year-old did not show up for work, possibly because he guessed rightly that his arrest was underway. On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported the identity of the man, saying he was the leader of the Discord chat group where the documents were first shared and a member of the military. Members of the Discord chat group were a part of the investigation.
After he failed to show up at work, FBI agents stationed outside his mother’s house waited for the suspect to come out. Hence he was arrested without incident. The FBI officials are preparing to search Teixeira’s father and mother’s homes as soon as there is a search warrant to do so.
If the photos on social media are anything to go by, the agents could find several weapons inside the houses.
Who is Jack Douglas Teixeira?
21-year-old Jack Teixeira was an Air National Guard who began military service in September 2019. He was recently promoted to the rank of Airman 1st Class.
According to public records, he grew up in Rhode Island and graduated from High School in 2020. From his school days, he was a gun freak who loved war games and read books about guns. It was not surprising for his peers when he later joined the military.
Regarding the kind of person he is, one of the Discord chat group members told The Washington Post that he is a smart person. The group member added that posting the pictures on the group was no accident.
“He’s a smart person. He knew what he was doing when he posted these documents, of course. These weren’t accidental leaks of any kind,” the member told The Washington Post.
Was he working for Russia or any other foe of the United States? For now, there is nothing to show that Teixeira was a Russian agent or that of any other country. The group member who spoke to The Washington Post suggested that he was not confused about the situation but does not know how to get out of it.
“[Texeira] seemed very confused and lost as to what to do. He’s fully aware of what’s happening and what the consequences may be. He’s just not sure how to go about solving this situation, the member said. “He seems pretty distraught about it.”
He could appear in court as early as Friday, and he could spend a significant amount of time in prison for not keeping the oath he had sworn.
How Teixeira got the documents he posted
Many are wondering how a 21-year-old who joined the military a few years ago could have access to such sensitive information. Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, the spokesperson of the Pentagon has provided a hint as to how Teixeira got access to the sensitive documents.
“We entrust our members with a lot of responsibility at a very early age,” he said when asked about Teixeira’s involvement in leaking the top secret documents. “So you’ve received training, and you will receive an understanding of the rules and requirements that come along with those responsibilities. You’re expected to abide by those rules, regulations and responsibilities.”
“It’s called military discipline,” he added.
It is most likely that the suspect was one of those that fly drones and jets to obtain intelligence for the United States.
Brig. Gen. Ryder said Teixeira’s act was a violation of the guidelines and described it as “a deliberate criminal act.”
Following the controversial leaking of the documents, the Pentagon has imposed stricter restrictions on who should have access to sensitive documents.
Did the US spy on the UN Secretary-General?
As of Wednesday, new information was being discovered in the documents shared on social media. The latest was that the United States believed the Secretary-General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, could be easily manipulated by Russia to serve its interest. His meeting with the Russian government regarding the shipping of grain through the black sea might have caused Washington to spy on him.
Part of the document reads: “Guterres emphasised his efforts to improve Russia’s ability to export, even if that involves sanctioned Russian entities or individuals.” It added that the deals reached by the UN Secretary-General were “undermining broader efforts to hold Moscow accountable for its actions in Ukraine.”
However, Mr Guterres, through his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said he was unbothered about people spying on him and insisted that the meeting with Russia did not change his position on the war. But the war would not prevent the UN from serving the interests of the world’s poorest countries.
“That means doing what we can to drive down the price of food…and to ensure that fertiliser is accessible to those countries that need it the most,” he added.
At 21, Teixeira had revealed some of America’s deepest secrets and created, at least to some extent, distrust between the World power and its allies. His arrest has further confirmed the authenticity of at least some of the leaked documents, and a lot is at stake for the world’s most powerful country.