Jacques Teixeira, a 21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guard, appeared in federal court in Boston on Friday and was charged with two counts – taking and leaking classified information and military secrets.
New questions are being raised about how Teixeira, accused of being behind the humiliating security breach, obtained clearance to access sensitive documents.
Teixeira, who was wearing handcuffs and a khaki prison jumpsuit, was read out shortly after 10 a.m. local time in a Massachusetts federal court.
“I love you, Jack!” his father shouted at him during his brief appearance before the judges.
He said: I love you, father.
Jack Douglas Teixeira, a 21-year-old member of the US Air National Guard who was arrested by the FBI for his alleged involvement in online leaks of classified documents, poses for a selfie in an unknown location
A 21-year-old US Air Force National Guard employee has been arrested for leaking highly sensitive US defense and intelligence documents.
Teixeira then only spoke on two other occasions, twice answering “yes” when asked if he understood his right to remain silent.
The National Guard member did not petition, but judges ordered that he remain in detention until next week.
Teixeira’s next hearing is set for Wednesday, April 19, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said in a statement.
The leak is the most embarrassing for the United States since the WikiLeaks scandal in 2013 when NSA contractor Edward Snowden passed classified documents.
According to the indictment, Teixeira obtained a high-level security clearance in 2021 as a member of the National Guard.
The document, provided by the US government, quoted FBI Special Agent Patrick Lueckenhoff as saying that Teixeira would “sign a binding non-disclosure agreement for life.”
It adds that the suspect “had to acknowledge that unauthorized disclosure of protected information could result in criminal charges.”
Teixeira published a large number of top secret military documents that touched on the Ukraine war and other issues of national security.
FBI investigators arrested him at his mother’s home in Dayton, Mass., on Thursday before putting the 21-year-old into the back of a police truck.
Teixeira posted a trove of top-secret files under his online username “Jack the Dripper” for several months before the leak was revealed.
He worked as a junior cybersecurity specialist in the Intelligence Unit at Otis Air National Guard Base in western Cape Cod.
It is believed to have started on a site called Discord, which is a social media platform that is popular among people who play games online.
Teixeira is believed to have released information about weapons, toys, and top-secret US government information.
Jacques Teixeira faced two criminal charges in John Joseph Mochley United States Court, in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 14, 2023. A 21-year-old member of the US Air Force National Guard has been arrested on suspicion of leaking a trove of sensitive secrets to the US government.
This document appears to show the state of Ukraine’s air defenses in February and May, when they are expected to be severely depleted.
He has been identified as the leader of a chat room, known as Thug Shaker Central, on Discord, an invite-only platform.
The Associated Press reported that he then posted photos of folded papers because he felt his writing was not taken seriously.
And officials at the US Department of Justice opened an investigation into the case of the 21-year-old, whose actions embarrassed US allies around the world.
Washington’s old friends from Britain to South Korea and Israel have criticized much of the information as false.
It also outlined potential arms deliveries to Ukraine, as well as details of Western-led training for Ukraine’s armed forces.
But in an interview with ABC News, one of the country’s top military officials dismissed the leak’s impact on battlefield plans for Kiev.
“This will not be able to affect the real results of the offensive operation,” said Kirillo Budanov, the head of Ukrainian military intelligence.
The country’s top spy is credited with being one of the few Ukrainian officials to correctly predict the timing of Russia’s all-out invasion of its neighbour.
The actions of the 21-year-old were heavily criticized by lawmakers from all political parties.
But he received support from far-right Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, who mistakenly referred to him as “Jake Teixeira” on Twitter.
In another interview on social media, the congresswoman representing Georgia’s 14th district claimed he was being prosecuted because of the color of his skin.
“Jake Teixeira is white, male, Christian, anti-war,” said Green. “That makes him an enemy of the Biden regime.”
The 48-year-old has repeatedly parried the Kremlin’s talking points about Ukraine, including the completely bogus claim that the country is being overrun by Nazism.