The US soldier suspected of leaking classified military documents has appeared in court for the first time today. Jack Teixeira, 21, is charged with unauthorized possession and possession of classified documents and unauthorized possession and distribution of military information, it was found in a summary hearing in Boston court today.
Teixeira appeared in handcuffs and in brown prison clothes before the judge, reports CNN, among others. Teixeira is a system administrator in the National Guard. He appeared in court in Boston because he worked at an air force base in Massachusetts, the state in which Boston is located. He was responsible for the communication equipment and had access to classified documents since 2021.
Teixeira allegedly first leaked documents in December last year, according to an affidavit from investigators in the case released today. A week before his arrest, he would also have searched secret documents on his work computer that contained the word ‘leak’. According to the researchers, he wanted to find out whether internal investigations had revealed who was behind the leak.
Teixeira was arrested yesterday by the FBI:
The soldier was told his rights by the judge and, according to CNN, softly confirmed that he understood what the judge said. At the end of the session, one of the family members present shouted “I love you, Jack”, to which Teixeira responded with: “I love you too, Dad”. The first substantive hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
The military documents probably first appeared in a private group on Discord, a platform where people can chat, stream or call in a safe environment. Teixeira is said to have been the administrator of the Discord group. The US Attorney’s Office has not yet released anything about the soldier’s possible motivation, but according to other people in the group, he was mainly out to impress and did not leak the documents because of a certain ideology.
The group to which Teixeira belonged would have mainly talked about their favorite weapons and shared memes and jokes, some of which were racist in nature. The war in Ukraine was also discussed.
The leaked confidential documents include information about a Dutch soldier who is said to be present in Ukraine as part of a special unit, the BBC wrote.
It would also say that Kiev is suffering from an arms shortage and that the Israeli secret service would have played a role in fueling protests against Prime Minister Netanyahu. Most of the leaked documents appear to be authentic, although edits have also been identified by experts.
US correspondent Simone Tukker:
“Due to this leak, the supervision of this type of sensitive (military) information at the Pentagon is now under a magnifying glass. They have already intervened there by limiting the number of people who normally had access to classified intelligence through daily briefings. Much less eyes can now watch, in order to prevent more of this kind of sensitive information from becoming public.
The discussion here is no longer about the content of the documents, but is mainly about the question of how it could happen that such a young soldier had access to all those secret documents. And how it was possible that it went unnoticed for quite a long time that he shared that information with others.”
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