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FBI arrests air National Guard member in classified documents leak

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The FBI has arrested a 21-year-old Air Force veteran suspected of leaking classified documents to the U.S. government and military, U.S. law enforcement officials said Thursday.

Jack Teixeira, a member of the intelligence wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, was taken into custody “unfortunately” at a residence in Dighton, Mass., Thursday afternoon, the FBI said in a release.

In a brief televised statement, US Attorney General Merrick Garland said Teixeira was arrested “in connection with an investigation into the alleged unauthorized deletion, storage and distribution of classified national security information”.

A photo file of Jack Teixeira arrested by FBI

“This investigation is ongoing,” Garland said. “We will share more information in due course.

Charges have not yet been filed, but Garland’s statement suggests Teixeira could be charged under the Espionage Act. The Justice Department has used this 1917 law, which expedites the destruction, retention, and distribution of “national defense information” to unauthorized persons, to prosecute those who leak government secrets.

According to the Washington Post, the documents allegedly leaked by Teixeira contained very sensitive information about Ukraine’s military capabilities and access to the American intelligence community in the Russian military command.

Teixeira will make his first appearance in federal court in Boston on Friday, according to a law enforcement source.

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