jack teixeira


Suspected Ukraine classified documents leaker identified, arrested

The 21-year-old gamer was taken into custody shortly after being publicly identified.


Mikael Thalen


Posted on Apr 13, 2023   Updated on Apr 14, 2023, 4:00 am CDT

The man believed to be responsible for the recent leak of classified intelligence documents was arrested at his home in Massachusetts on Thursday by local and federal law enforcement.

The 21-year-old, a Massachusetts Air National Guard member named Jack Teixeira, was identified by federal investigators as the prime suspect behind the disclosure of the documents.

Video shows a young man being escorted out of a property that was said to be associated with the family.

Earlier on Thursday, the suspect was identified by name in the New York Times. Teixeira was the de-facto leader of an online Discord group known as Thug Shaker Central where the files first appeared. The documents later made their way to 4chan and Telegram before becoming widely known.

Thug Shaker Central, with its mere 20 to 30 members, regularly discussed its love of firearms, video games, and racist memes. Members of the group who spoke to the Times stated that one of their members had access to classified files due to his employer.

The files posted on the Discord channel discussed a wide range of topics including the war in Ukraine and the names of high-profile surveillance targets.

In comments to the Washington Post, one of the group’s members described the suspect as “a young, charismatic man who loves nature, God, shooting guns, and racing cars.” However, the Post also reviewed a video that purportedly shows the suspect using a rifle at a shooting range while yelling racial and antisemitic slurs.

Teixeira’s identity was ultimately discovered after the Times was able to locate his profile on the gaming platform Steam. The leak has been compared to the disclosures by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in terms of their severity.

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*First Published: Apr 13, 2023, 2:08 pm CDT