Feds Say Suspect Searched Classified Records for 'Leak'

Billing records also helped lead investigators to Jack Teixeira
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 14, 2023 11:46 AM CDT
Feds Say Billing Records Led Them to Leak Suspect
This image made from video provided by WCVB-TV shows Jack Teixeira, in T-shirt and shorts, being taken into custody by armed tactical agents on Thursday, April 13, 2023, in Dighton, Mass.   (WCVB-TV via AP)

Billing records of an Internet social media platform and interviews with another user helped the FBI identify a Massachusetts Air National Guardsman as a suspect in the leak of highly classified military documents, according to court records unsealed Friday. The new details came as Jack Teixeira, 21, appeared in court to face charges under the Espionage Act of unauthorized removal and retention of classified and national defense information, the AP report. A federal magistrate judge ordered him held until a detention hearing next Wednesday.

Teixeira was arrested by heavily armed tactical agents on Thursday following a weeklong criminal investigation into the disclosure of the government records, a breach that exposed to the world unvarnished secret assessments on the war in Ukraine, the capabilities and geopolitical interests of other nations, and other national security issues. Investigators believe Teixeira was the leader of an online private chat group on Discord, a social media platform popular with gamers. Billing records the FBI obtained from Discord, which has said it was cooperating with the bureau, helped lead investigators to Teixeira, according to an FBI affidavit. According to the document, the FBI interviewed someone familiar with Teixeira’s online posts on Monday.

That person, who is not identified in the affidavit, told the FBI that a username linked to Teixeira began posting what appeared to be classified information roughly in December. The affidavit also alleges Teixeira was detected on April 6—the day the New York Times first published a story about the breach of documents—searching for the word "leak" in a classified system. The FBI says that was reason to believe Teixeira was trying to find information about the investigation into who was responsible for the leaks. (Friends say Teixeira "wasn't a whistleblower.")

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.