US Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, 21, in court for the first time on charges of disclosing classified Pentagon documents
A US Air National Guardsman appeared in court on Friday after being arrested for allegedly sharing top-secret Pentagon files with his gaming friends.
Jack Teixeira, 21, was arraigned in a Boston courtroom and charged with two federal counts, including unauthorized detention and transmission of national defense information and unauthorized removal of classified information and defense materials.
Teixeira, who was last stationed at Otis Air National Guard Base as a member of the 102nd Intelligence Wing, is believed to be the leader of the online Discord gaming group called Thug Shaker Central, which consisted of around 20 to 30 teenagers and young men.
The odd group is said to be united by their “mutual love of guns, military equipment and God.”
Teixeira is accused of sharing photos of classified national security documents with his friends over a period of months dating back to December 2022.
First he shared typed text before sending pictures of actual Pentagon papers.
The top-secret documents came to light in early April after reports were reported by the New York Times and a Russian news agency.
On Thursday, FBI agents raided Teixeira’s mother’s home in North Dighton, Massachusetts.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland said Teixeira was arrested “without incident”.
Helicopter footage showed the suspect – in red shorts with his hands behind his back – being placed in an unmarked SUV by heavily armed agents in a wooded area.
The serious security breach revealed details of US and NATO plans to help Ukraine prepare for a spring offensive against Russia.
Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder called the leak a “premeditated criminal act.”
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