FBI agents on April 13 arrested a man suspected of being involved in the leak of classified documents, officials said.
Agents took Jack Teixeira, 21, into custody “without incident,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in prepared remarks from the Department of Justice (DOJ) headquarters in Washington.
Teixeira was arrested by agents at a home in North Dighton, Massachusetts, “in connection with an investigation into alleged unauthorized removal, retention, and transmission of classified national defense information,” Garland said.
An FBI spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email that agents took Teixeira into custody.
“The FBI is continuing to conduct authorized law enforcement activity at the residence. 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,” the spokesperson said.
President Joe Biden had said earlier on April 13 that the government was “getting close” to finding the leaker or leakers after the DOJ started a “full-blown investigation” earlier in April.
Teixeira, a Massachusetts Air National Guard member, couldn’t be reached for comment, and it wasn’t clear whether he had retained legal counsel. He is expected to make his first court appearance in federal court in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts National Guard didn’t respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment. The National Guard declined to comment.
Secret Pentagon documents relating to the Russia–Ukraine war were leaked earlier this year, appearing on platforms such as Discord, a messaging service popular with video game players.
Among the documents were estimated numbers of Russian and Ukrainian casualties that conflict with official estimates, including a lower number of Russian deaths than portrayed in public.
Another document showed that U.S. troops are in Ukraine.
U.S. officials have confirmed some of the details, including acknowledging that there are troops there.
But they’ve warned against disseminating the information.
John Kirby, National Security Council spokesperson, said the information “is not intended for public consumption,” and Vedant Patel, a State Department spokesperson, said the leaks “present a risk to national security.” They’ve also said that some of the materials appeared to be manipulated.
Russian officials have said the leak could be part of a disinformation campaign.
“Given that the United States is a party to the conflict [in Ukraine] and is waging a hybrid war against us, it’s possible that such ploys may be used to mislead … the Russian Federation,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said recently.
The documents were photographed, not scanned, analysts with Bellingcat said. The first images may have appeared in a Discord group called Thug Shaker Central. In addition to Discord, some were posted to Telegram and 4chan.