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Pentagon leaks suspect was sharing secrets for longer than previously known, report says

Profile matching Teixeira posted intelligence on Russian war effort on Discord chat group as early as February 2022

Stuti Mishra
Saturday 22 April 2023 09:35 BST
This photo illustration shows the suspect, national guardsman Jack Teixeira, reflected in an image of the Pentagon
This photo illustration shows the suspect, national guardsman Jack Teixeira, reflected in an image of the Pentagon (AFP/Getty )

The suspect behind the leak of sensitive documents from the Pentagon was sharing information online for longer than previously known, a recent report revealed.

Jack Teixeira, an air national guardsman, reportedly leaked sensitive material as far back as the beginning of Ukraine’s invasion in 2022, according to a New York Times report reviewing online postings.

The newspaper reported that a profile matching Mr Teixeira posted secret intelligence on the Russian war effort on a chat group on Discord in February 2022.

The 21-year-old was arrested in an FBI raid on his Massachusetts home on 13 April after scores of highly-classified documents were found online about the Ukraine war.

The so-called “Pentagon Papers” included slides of photographed files that were made public, including 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.

Precisely how many documents were leaked is not known, with estimates varying from 50 to hundreds.

The NYT first broke the story on 6 April while the movement of the documents has since been tracked by Bellingcat to a Discord server for gamers known as Thug Shaker Central.

The new report confirms that while the anonymous leaks first appeared in this Discord group in October 2022, the first trace of it went back to February 2022.

The authenticity of large parts of these documents remained under question but the leak left many in Washington red-faced.

Mr Teixeira, who was an enlisted airman for the Massachusetts Air National Guard and joined in September 2019, worked as an information technology specialist which gave him top secret clearance.

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