Who is the alleged top secret US document leaker Jack Teixeira?

National guardsman Jack Teixeira, reflected in an image of the Pentagon in Washington.
National guardsman Jack Teixeira, reflected in an image of the Pentagon in Washington. Copyright STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP or licensors
Copyright STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP or licensors
By Joshua Askew with AP
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The 21-year-old US airman was arrested in connection with a leaked treasure trove of sensitive intelligence. But what do we know about him?

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FBI officers have arrested Jack Teixeira in connection with a highly-damaging and embarrassing leak of top-secret US intelligence documents, kicking up quite the storm in Washington. 

But who is he? And what do we know about him?

Jack Douglas Teixeira, 21, served in the Massachusetts Air National Guard. 

He was a first-class airman detailed to an Air Force intelligence unit, having only graduated from high school in 2020. That such a junior member of staff could access highly classified information has raised eyebrows, with some suggesting it points to wider security flaws within the US government's security structures. 

Originally from North Dighton, Massachusetts, Teixeira was a member of a private online group which posted about video games, religion, guns and memes. 

Some of which were racist, according to AP. 

Under the pseudonym "OG", Teixeira is believed to have shared many documents in the "Thug Shaker Central" group, home to a few dozen, mostly male members. From here they spread across the internet, reaching Russian Telegram channels, and then Western media. 

Members of the international group were reportedly asked to disclose his identity.

Teixeira — whose family has a history of serving in the armed forces — opposed many of the US government's goals and denounced the military “since it was run by the elite politicians,” AP quoted a person close to the matter as saying. 

“He expressed regret [about] joining a lot,” the anonymous acquaintance said. “He even said he'd kick my ass if I thought about joining.” 

The person did not believe Teixeira leaked the documents to undermine the US government or for ideological reasons. 

Still, the fallout has been significant, with Washington saying earlier in the week its national security was at risk.

He faces charges under the Espionage Act, which carries up to 20 years imprisonment. 

-/AFP or licensors
Aerial footage of Jack Teixeira's arrest.-/AFP or licensors

Another member of the chatroom described Teixeira as a young, charismatic gun enthusiast. Others said he was older than most of the group of mostly teenagers and was eager to impress them. 

At work, he was a "cyber transport systems specialist" or essentially an IT specialist responsible for military communications networks, including their cabling and hubs.

He had a higher level of security clearance than most because he was tasked with ensuring protection for the network, a defence official told AP.

Using various online monikers, such as TexKilledYou and TheExcaliburEffect, the 21-year-old previously shared written versions of the classified documents in the chatroom. 

However, no one reportedly noticed, causing him to become frustrated. 

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Things ratcheted up a gear when he began publishing photos. 

"He got upset, and he said on multiple occasions, if you guys aren't going to interact with them [the files], I'm going to stop sending them," another unidentified group member told the Washington Post.

Another member offered a theory to the Washington Post on why Teixeira shared the material. 

"This guy was a Christian, anti-war, just wanted to inform some of his friends about what's going on," he told The New York Times.

Soldiers fresh out of high school who went to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan have in the past used top-secret intelligence and programmes to target adversaries. 

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Teixeira's record does not suggest any overseas deployment.

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