Police in North Dighton, Massachusetts, block the street on which the suspected leaker of classified documents lives on April 13, 2023, while the FBI arrested him. EFE/Cj Gunther

FBI arrests alleged leaker of secret documents

Washington, Apr 13 (EFE).- The FBI on Thursday arrested the alleged leaker of secret documents, a security scandal which has shaken the United States over the past few days and could be the most serious unauthorized release of classified material in a decade.

View of the facade of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on April 12, 2023 EFE/Jim Lo Scalzo

The FBI confirmed in a statement that its agents had made the arrest in North Dighton, Massachusetts, and although the agency did not identify the person taken into custody US media outlets said that he is 21-year-old Jack Teixeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air Force National Guard.

US television images showed a huge police deployment around Teixeira’s home in North Dighton along with helicopters overflying the area.

The Washington Post and The New York Times published the name of the suspect on Thursday.

According to The Washington Post, Teixeira was able to access classified information as part of his work as a computer technician on an Air Force National Guard base in Massachusetts.

After accessing the documents, Teixeira allegedly posted them on the Discord Web site, which is popular among videogame enthusiasts, with the aim of impressing other young people.

Later, those documents were spread on other social networks, like Telegram, and ended up on the front pages of newspapers all over the world.

President Joe Biden, who is currently in Dublin, Ireland, said Thursday that the Department of Justice was “getting close” to knowing more about the leak of the secret Pentagon documents, which appear to include top secret information regarding the war in Ukraine, as well as material concerning other parts of the world.

“Right now there’s a full-blown investigation going on and, you know, with the intelligence community and the Justice Department, and they’re getting close,” Biden told reporters. “But I don’t have an answer” for how or why the documents ended up online.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference on Thursday afternoon that “FBI agents took Teixeira into custody earlier this afternoon without incident,” adding that “He will have an initial appearance at the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts. … This investigation is ongoing. We will share more information at the appropriate time.”

EFE bpm/pamp/bp