Security Officer Indicted For Deleting Classified Information –

WASHINGTON (AP) — A member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard has emerged as a key figure in the disclosure of highly classified military documents related to the Ukrainian war and was detained Thursday by federal agents, Attorney General Merrick Garland said. .

Investigators believe a security guard specializing in intelligence led the online chat group where the documents were posted. He said he would be prosecuted for deletion.

FBI agents converged at his home in Teixeira, Massachusetts, on Thursday, and a heavily armed tactical agent escorted Teixeira out of the compound in a T-shirt and shorts and “nothing,” Garland said.

Garland said he will make his first appearance in federal court in Massachusetts after being charged with unauthorized deletion of classified defense information.

It was not immediately clear if Teixeira had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf, and a phone message left on a number believed to be his mother’s was not immediately returned.

Law enforcement officers put up a rope from the street near the house. The New York Times, which first identified Teixeira on Thursday, said a man who previously stood outside Teixeira’s home said, “If things are going the way they are now, you need to get a lawyer.” I am confident that the board will move quickly.”

Teixeira’s emergence as the obvious prime suspect continues to unfold with the near-daily revelation of highly classified documents, the most high-profile information breach in years, but how could such a young, Low-ranking service members.

The Biden administration has been scrambling for days to contain the consequences of leaked information. It exposed potential vulnerabilities in Ukraine’s air defense capabilities and published a closed-door assessment by the allies on a range of intelligence issues.

The National Guard did not confirm his identity, but said in a statement that it was “aware of the investigation into the role the Massachusetts Air National Guard may have played in the recent leak of classified documents.”

Air Force Brigadier General. Pentagon spokesman General Pat Ryder referred all questions regarding the case to the Justice Department. However, he said: Each of us signs a confidentiality agreement. This is a criminal act and willful violation of them. ”

The Biden administration has been working to assess the diplomatic and national security implications since the leaked documents were first reported last week. A top Pentagon spokesman told reporters earlier this week that the disclosure poses a “very serious risk to national security,” and the Justice Department has launched an investigation to identify those responsible.

“We are getting closer,” President Joe Biden told reporters in Ireland on Thursday. There is nothing of his contemporaries that I am aware of.”

The Justice Department declined to comment on Thursday.

The leak may have started on a site called Discord, a popular social media platform for people playing online games. The Discord site hosts real-time voice, video, and text chat for groups, describing it as “a place where you can belong to your school club, gaming group, or global arts community.”

In one of these forums, originally created to discuss various topics, members were discussing the war in Ukraine. According to one of his members of the chat, an unidentified poster shared documents that the poster claimed were classified, first typing them in the poster’s own thoughts, and then a number or two. As of a month ago, I uploaded an image of the folded paper.

Discord says it is cooperating with law enforcement.

There are only a few ways the leaked sensitive information could have been accessed, which could provide important clues as to who is responsible. Confidential briefings typically share information electronically, similar to slides placed on Discord.

This is done via secure computer terminals that users have access to based on their credentials, or tablets that are handed out for briefings and collected later. If you need to print your slides instead, send them only to a secure printer that can process sensitive documents and maintain a digital record of everyone who requests a print.

Digital clues, such as printout records, help investigators figure out who got the documents. It’s a copy, as if stuffed in someone’s pocket.

Days after the leaks came to light, the Pentagon deferred questions about the investigation to the Justice Department, saying it was a criminal matter. The Justice Department will likely still lead the prosecution until it is ready to hand over to the Pentagon, a defense official told The Associated Press, requesting anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue.

This has been the case in previous criminal cases, such as the 2020 arrest of two Marines based in Camp Pendleton, California, on drug trafficking charges. The Justice Department will be held accountable if those responsible are found to be civilians, officials said.


Associated Press writers Michelle R. Smith of Swansea, Massachusetts, Norman Merchant and Zeke Miller of Washington, Alana Durkin Richer of Boston, and Colleen Long and Darlene Superville of Dublin contributed to this report. . Security Officer Indicted For Deleting Classified Information –

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