• Jack Teixeira was arrested by the FBI for leaking hundreds of pages of sensitive documents from the Department of Defense in an online chatroom.
  • Teixeira had top secret security clearance and allegedly changed his method of uploading documents to avoid detection.
  • The leak has damaged U.S. international relations and exposed weaknesses in the Ukrainian military.
  • The Pentagon called the leak a deliberate, criminal act.

The 21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guardsman who leaked sensitive U.S. documents allegedly changed his plan to avoid detection, according to court documents related to the suspect’s case.

Jack Teixeira was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Thursday. A dozen uniformed officers were equipped with an armored vehicle to make the arrest. The arrest came after Teixeira was identified as the alleged suspect who released hundreds of pages of sensitive documents from the Department of Defense in an online Discord chatroom called Thug Shaker Central. The leaking of sensitive information has damaged U.S. international relations, identified weaknesses in the Ukrainian military and exposed details of U.S. intelligence gathering on South Korea and Israel.

Teixeira, who had a top-secret security clearance as part of his cyber defense operations journeyman position with the Massachusetts Air National Guard, changed his method of uploading the documents to the Discord group to avoid detection, according to one of the chatroom’s users.

 21 year-old Jack Teixeira
Pictured, 21-year-old Jack Teixeira, member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, was arrested in connection to the top-secret document leak involving Ukraine intelligence.

An affidavit from the FBI described an agent’s interactions with a Discord user who saw the posts by Teixeira and had conversations with Teixeira about the documents. Teixeira allegedly began posting the classified documents on the chatroom channel in December. The first posts appeared as paragraphs of text, but in January, the posts changed to photos of the documents. According to the affidavit, the photos had classification markings and were official U.S. government documents.

“According to User 1, during one of those conversations, the individual using the Subject Username explained that he had become concerned that he may be discovered making the transcriptions of text in the workplace, so he began taking the documents to his residence and photographing them,” the affidavit said.

Teixeira appeared in court Friday, and CNN reported that he was charged with unauthorized detention and transmission of national defense information, as well as unauthorized removal of classified information and defense materials.

Newsweek reached out to the FBI by email for comment.

First posted to Discord, a social media platform popular with gamers, the documents began circulating to other social media platforms like 4Chan, Telegram and Twitter.

To acquire his top-secret clearance, Teixeira would have signed a “lifetime binding non-disclosure agreement” that prevented him from disclosing protected information or facing criminal charges, according to the affidavit.

The Pentagon called the leak a “deliberate, criminal act.” According to the affidavit, the chatroom was designed to “discuss geopolitical affairs and current and historical wars.”

Although President Joe Biden said Thursday that he wasn’t concerned about the leak compromising national intelligence, Newsweek previously reported that the leak exposed weaknesses in Ukrainian military forces and detailed NATO’s plans to supplement the Ukrainian military against Russia’s attack.

Other documents also showed that the U.S. had issued warnings to China against delivering military aid to Russia and revealed that the U.S. had likely spied on South Korea, a U.S. ally.