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National Guardsman accused of Pentagon leak had trove of weapons and engaged in violent rhetoric

Questions have been raised about how Teixeira was granted top security clearance despite his violent rhetoric history

Sravasti Dasgupta
Saturday 29 April 2023 09:00 BST
Prosecutors: Alleged Pentagon leaker poses national security threat

Weeks after Jack Teixeira was arrested over the alleged leak of classified military intelligence online, new details have emerged that reveal how multiple red flags were ignored and were not enough to prevent the Pentagon from granting him a top-secret security clearance.

On 13 April, armed FBI officers arrested the 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s intelligence wing after raiding his Massachusetts home.

According to a report by CNN, Pentagon had granted Teixeira top-secret security clearance.

Officials said to the network that Teixeira had to fill out an extensive questionnaire known as E-QIP (Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing) and be vetted by the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency before being granted his clearance in 2021.

Texiera was arrested in connection with the leak of the so-called “Pentagon Papers”.

The slides of photographed files that were made public include detailed battlefield maps from Russia’s war in Ukraine and the alarming suggestion that the US believes Kyiv will soon run out of missiles for its air defence systems, in addition to awkward revelations about America’s attitude towards many of its allies around the world, including the UK, South Korea, Egypt, Israel and the UAE.

Court documents filed on Wednesday say that Teixeira was suspended from his high school three years ago after a classmate “overheard him make remarks about weapons, including Molotov cocktails, guns at the school, and racial threats”.

“That clearly would have been a red flag,” one Pentagon official was quoted as saying.

The report said that Teixeira applied for a firearm identification card in 2018 and 2019.

Prosecutors said that his local police station denied permits both times over concerns by his local police department about the comments he had made at his school that led to his suspension.

Court documents say that when Teixeira applied for a firearm identification card again in 2020, he cited his position in the military and his top-secret clearance as reasons why he should be given one.

According to prosecutors FBI found “multiple weapons, including handguns, bolt-action rifles, shotguns” and an “AK-style high-capacity weapon” in his room after it was searched following his arrest.

According to an official from the Senate Intelligence Committee, the committee has twice in the last week asked the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Pentagon for more information about Teixeira’s vetting.

Pentagon officials said that its vetting process and whether any procedures were violated or ignored are also being examined.

Also, on Wednesday the Air Force said that two leaders in Teixeira’s unit have been suspended and have also lost their access to classified systems and information.

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