Jack Teixeira, the 21-year-old air national guardsman suspected of leaking sensitive intelligence secrets, is lean and tall in photos. His uniform is a dark blue color. He appears to be no older than the teenagers in the online chat room where the secret documents were disclosed.
The FBI detained Teixeira and searched his residence on Thursday night. A local TV station aired footage of him being carried away in handcuffs.
The New York Times has named Teixeira the group’s most influential member in the gaming community Discord server known as Thug Shaker Central. New information concerning Teixeira has made him a possible suspect in the ongoing leak probe.
Teixeira was an integral part of a group of roughly 30 people who shared an interest in firearms, video games, and racist memes while serving in the 102nd intelligence wing of the Massachusetts air national guard.
The publication speculated that Teixeira was known as OG within the organization, who had been named the leaker the day before. Thug Shaker Central was an exclusive online forum that convened in 2020 when the pandemic was at its height.
At first, the leaker appeared to be trying to impress the group’s younger members by using a lot of acronyms and jargon in their messages; later, the leaker appeared to be attempting to impress the group’s members by releasing actual classified documents that had been physically removed from a secure location and photographed.
OG explained to the group that he had brought the papers back from a “military base” where he occasionally worked in a restricted area where cell phones and other technological devices were prohibited.
The New York Times they were reported that the margins of several of the images of the leaked confidential documents resembled characteristics in the interior of Teixeira’s boyhood house, which he had posted on social media.
Teixeira’s mom, Dawn, talked to the press and confirmed her son was in the national air guard, had been working overnights at a base near Cape Cod, and had just changed his phone number.
Jack Teixeira’s mother reportedly owns a flower shop called Bayberry Farm and Flower Co, but all calls to that number went to voicemail. There was a message saying they would be closed all week.
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Teixeira is rumored to live at the same North Dighton, Massachusetts address where the business is headquartered. Dawn and Tom Dufault own it, and Dawn Dufault was once known as Dawn Teixeira, according to public records.
In June of 2021, the company’s Facebook page referred Jack Teixeira. Under a picture of a “Welcome home” balloon, a statement read, “Jack is on his way home today, tech school complete, ready to start his career in the Air National Guard!”
Teixeira rose through the ranks of the national guard. His supposed promotion to Airman 1st Class was commemorated in a July 2022 Facebook post from the 102nd Intelligence Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. On Thursday afternoon, the bar was still visible.
The question of what may have motivated the leaker has become more critical as the United States has traced a trail to Teixeira’s home. The enormity of the leak and the evidence that the United States has been spying on its friends has reverberated from Kyiv to Seoul and other global capitals, leaving viewers shaken.
The explanations provided by the chat group members are rather ordinary. They insist the leaker was not a whistleblower but rather a young man who sought to keep the information a secret from his young friends in the chat group.
“He’s a smart person. He knew what he was doing when he posted these documents. These weren’t accidental leaks,” one member told the Washington Post. But they managed to get out. After initially being shared on other platforms, these videos eventually became Russian television.
The group members claimed that OG constantly lectured them on the inner workings of the government and global politics.
“This guy was a Christian, anti-war, just wanted to inform some of his friends about what’s going on,” said one acquaintance. “We have some people in our group who are in Ukraine. We like fighting games; we like war games.”
"This guy was a Christian, anti-war, just wanted to inform some of his friends about what's going on. We have some people in our group who are in Ukraine. We like fighting games, we like war games."
– Pentagon document thief Jack Teixeira’s Discord friend.
— Hoodlum 🇺🇸 (@NotHoodlum) April 14, 2023
However, OG also had a shady side. The Washington Post obtained a video of an unidentified man, OG, using racial and antisemitic obscenities while at a shooting range with a big gun. The latest highly damaging leak of US information has prompted significant issues as the inquiry has focused on the perpetrator.
One of the biggest mysteries is how someone so young, emotionally immature, bigoted, and anti-establishment could have been given access to a site with secret information. As details emerge, it is as shocking that this person was able to steal sensitive information from a protected location.
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As someone who has held a security clearance for 35 years, Atlantic writer Tom Nichols tweeted, “I hope this guy isn’t the leaker because I’m gonna have some questions about how a Mass Air Guard guy got CJCS [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] briefing slides.”
"Tom Nichols of the Atlantic, who himself had security clearance for 35 years, said: “I hope this guy isn’t the leaker, because I’m gonna have some questions about how a Mass Air Guard guy got CJCS [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] briefing slides.”
The United States is…
— Hattie L. Carlis (@hattiecarlis) April 14, 2023