Mexico Arrest Extradition Rep. Pic
The arrest happened a week after the leaks initially became widely known and Washington was on edge about the potential harm they could do. This is a representational image. niu niu/Unsplash.

The FBI detained Jack Douglas Teixeira, a 21-year-old Air National Guard member, on Thursday in connection with the internet leaks of secret papers that disgrace Washington in front of allies around the world.

In gym shorts, a T-shirt, and trainers, federal officials in an armored car and military gear swooped in on Teixeira at his home in Dighton, Massachusetts, a primarily wooded hamlet of 8,000 people located approximately 50 miles (80 km.) south of Boston.

The arrest happened a week after the leaks initially became widely known and Washington was on edge about the potential harm they could do.

The incident embarrassed the United States by exposing its surveillance of allies and alleged military weaknesses in Ukraine, Reuters reported.

The leak of materials, primarily shared on social media platforms, was the most significant security breach since more than 700,000 documents, videos, and diplomatic cables surfaced on the WikiLeaks website in 2010.

According to his service record, Teixeira was an airman first class at Otis Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts. As a "Cyber Transport Systems Journeyman," or an IT professional, he joined the Air National Guard in 2019.

Teixeira was sought for, according to Attorney General Merrick Garland, "in connection with an investigation into alleged unauthorized removal, retention, and transmission of classified national defense information."

According to the FBI, its officers carried out "authorized law enforcement activity at a residence in North Dighton, Massachusetts."

In an aerial news video, Teixeira can be seen moving backward toward the armored car while holding his hands behind his back. One officer is standing in the turret and observing the scene. He was restrained with handcuffs and driven off in the back. Garland reported that the arrest was "without incident."

Though the Justice Department remained mum regarding the specific charges Teixeira would be up against, they are most likely to involve purposeful transmission and retention of sensitive national defense information.

Even if Teixeira had no malice inclination, according to Brandon Van Grack, a former Justice Department national security prosecutor who is now with the law firm Morrison Foerster, the expected charges may result in up to 10 years in jail.

"This is someone who is facing on the higher end of exposure for years in prison ... because the leaks were so damaging," Van Grack said.

According to a statement from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, a Pentagon task force has been "working around the clock to assess and mitigate any damage."

According to a representative for the Boston office of the U.S. Attorney, Teixeira was scheduled to show up in court on Friday.

Neighbors were kept away from their homes by a police roadblock on the way to the residence where Teixeira was detained. Dick Treacy claimed to have witnessed the officers' arrival as he was leaving to go shopping in the early afternoon.

"There were about six to eight army guys with rifles walking around," Treacy said. "This is a very quiet area."

The 22-year-old Eddy Souza claimed to have grown up close by and to have known Jack Teixeira while they were both students at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School in the past.

Souza claimed that when they had last spoken, several years prior, Teixeira had not exhibited any radical views.

"He's a good kid, not a troublemaker, just a quiet guy," Souza said. "It sounds like it was a stupid kid's mistake."

Journalists have discovered evidence that the records - or at least part of them - had been making the rounds on social media as far back as March or perhaps January, even though the leak only received considerable attention after a piece in the New York Times on Apr. 6.

The earliest occurrence of the papers was linked to a dead server on the Discord instant messaging platform, according to Bellingcat, the Washington Post, and The New York Times.

Teixeira, who used the screen name OG in a chat room on the website, was respected by the group's largely young members who also enjoyed firearms and military equipment.

More than 50 of the "Secret" and "Top Secret" documents have been read by Reuters, but their veracity has not been independently confirmed. Over 100 documents have probably been leaked.

Several nations have questioned the validity of some of the exposed documents, including Britain, which said that the data contained "a serious level of inaccuracy."

Information regarding allies like Israel, South Korea, and Turkey was disclosed as a result of the disclosures.

Most of the items, in the opinion of U.S. officials, are genuine.

However, some of them seem to have been changed to indicate exaggerated estimates of Ukrainian deaths on the battlefield during the conflict with Russia as well as downplayed figures for Russian forces.

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