Suspect of leaking Pentagon documents arrested How did he get the information?

A teenager was arrested in the United States on Thursday as part of an investigation into the leak of classified US documents, a case that presents a “very serious” risk to national security, the Pentagon said, AFP comments.

The suspect, Jack Teixeira, an employee of the Air National Guard, was “taken into custody without incident” and will appear before someone in (northeastern) Massachusetts soon, US Justice Secretary Merrick Garland said. Press conference, reports Agerpres.

The arrest, which was reported by the US press before being confirmed by authorities, took place in Titan, a small rural town south of Boston, Massachusetts.

US television continues to broadcast aerial footage showing the arrest of an individual by agents of the security forces. A man, wearing a gray T-shirt and red shorts with his hands on his head, was seen surrounded by soldiers before being taken into a civilian-looking vehicle before being arrested.

“The investigation is ongoing” and is nearing completion, US President Joe Biden said earlier during a visit to Ireland. “I’m worried about what happened,” he added.

The U.S. Justice Department launched a criminal investigation after the documents were leaked online, detailing Washington’s views on the war in Ukraine and referencing intelligence gathering by close U.S. allies.

According to the Washington Post, the person behind the leak is a young man who worked at a military base and shared the information in a private online group on the Discord social network.

Using the pseudonym ‘OG’, he published hundreds of pages copied from documents from the military base where he worked for several months, according to the US publication.

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“The OG” asked other members of the group not to disseminate the documents, saying he had no intention of being a whistleblower, the Washington Post noted, citing one of its sources.

He criticized the government — whose “abuse of power” he condemned — law enforcement and the intelligence community.

A group of over twenty people formed in 2020 around their shared passion for guns, military equipment, and religion.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said the US was examining the “implications” of the leak for “national security”.

Aside from President Joe Biden’s visit to Ireland, the Pentagon has decided to further restrict access to this type of sensitive information, Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

The spokesperson added that the US government wants social networks to “avoid facilitating” the distribution of such classified documents, believing they have a “responsibility to their users and to the country”.

A Discord spokesperson told AFP that the platform’s priority is the safety of its users, and any content that violates its rules may be banned and some discussion groups may be closed and reported to the authorities.

The company also said it is cooperating with law enforcement regarding the leaks.

The circulation of these documents online “represents a very serious risk to national security and has the potential to fuel disinformation,” US Department of Defense spokesman Chris Meagher said on Monday.

Documents released online specifically reveal US intelligence concerns about the possibility of a Ukrainian counterattack against Russian forces.

A document analyzed by AFP also noted US concerns about Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against Russian strikes.

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Dozens of photos of these documents have appeared on Discord, but also on Twitter and Telegram, some of which have no doubt been circulating for weeks, if not months, before they caught the attention of the media.

However, US officials have not publicly confirmed the authenticity of these documents posted online, and so far it has not been independently verified.

Many of these documents are no longer available on the sites they originally appeared on, and US officials are working to remove them all, according to AFP.

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