- Jack Teixeira, 21, was arrested in connection with the recent leak of secret military documents.
- Teixeira is a Massachusetts Air National Guardsman who worked in the 102nd Intelligence Wing.
- He was reading a book on a porch when federal agents arrived to arrest him.
NORTH DIGHTON, MA — A Massachusetts Air National Guardsman who was arrested on Thursday in connection with the recent leak of dozens of secret Pentagon documents was sitting on a porch and reading a book as federal agents gathered to take him into custody, footage from the Boston-based news channel WCVB-TV showed.
Jack Teixeira, 21, was arrested in “connection with an investigation into alleged unauthorized removal, retention, and transmission of classified national defense information,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Thursday.
Teixeira, whose identity was first reported by The New York Times on Thursday, is believed to be the leader of a private group on the gamer messaging platform Discord called Thug Shaker Central, according to reporting from The Washington Post. The Post found that a man referred to by other group members as “OG” — possibly Teixeira — began sharing the secret documents on Thug Shaker Central in late 2022. The Post described OG as a gun enthusiast.
In his last message to his online friends, OG said to “keep low and delete any information that could possibly relate to him,” the Post reported.
One member of the group, who told the Post he’d been in touch with OG in recent days, said that OG “seemed very confused and lost as to what to do” and was “fully aware of what’s happening and what the consequences may be.” The member said OG was “pretty distraught about it.”
When federal agents finally arrived to arrest Teixeira, he was apparently sitting quietly with a book. He was arrested “without incident,” Garland said.
—WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) April 13, 2023
Media outlets swarmed the Massachusetts neighborhood where Teixeira was arrested on Thursday, with local children gathering in curiosity. Law enforcement has blocked off the street where the arrest occurred.
Tyler Ellinwood, 24, a resident of North Dighton who went to high school with Teixeira, told Insider that Teixeira essentially “only hung out the with kids that were very gung-ho about going into the military after high school.”
“I think it’s wild,” he said of Teixeira’s arrest in relation to the leak, describing his former schoolmate as “definitely one of those kids” who played video games.
Hayden Ellinwood, 20, Tyler’s brother who went to the same high school, told Insider that he recalls Teixeira having a small group of friends.
Teixeira worked in the 102nd Intelligence Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard.
During a press conference on Thursday, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder would not confirm the identity of the suspected leaker. But when asked for more information on the mission of Teixeira’s unit, Ryder said: “In general, intelligence wings throughout the Air Force support what you might imagine — Air Force intelligence requirements worldwide to support a variety of types of intelligence missions and requirements, which include active guard and reserve components.”
The secret military documents that were leaked on various social media platforms exposed US spying on allies and adversaries alike. The documents, many of which were labeled top secret, largely pertained to the war in Ukraine and some have expressed concern that their exposure could put Ukrainian forces at a disadvantage. The leak, which former CIA and military officers have described as embarrassing for the US, raises serious questions about how the government safeguards its secrets and has placed Washington in an awkward position with key allies.