A 21-year-old US airman arrested in connection with the leak of highly classified military documents will appear in court on Friday.
On Thursday, the FBI detained Jack Teixeira at his house in the rural Massachusetts town of Dighton.
He was being escorted away by agents who were highly armed while wearing shorts and a T-shirt.
The owner of the internet chat group where the documents originally surfaced has been named as Mr. Teixeira.
He is accused of removing and transmitting sensitive information without authorization. Later on Friday, he will show up in court in Boston, Massachusetts.
Difficult facts about American partners as well as US views of the conflict in Ukraine were published in dozens of leaked documents, embarrassing Washington and creating new concerns about the protection of confidential information.
At the Otis Air National Guard Base on western Cape Cod, Mr. Teixeira worked as an IT specialist for the Massachusetts National Guard’s intelligence division.
The US Air Force’s reserve component is known as the National Guard. Although they are not employed by the military full-time, they may be called upon for deployment.
Mr. Texeira is an Airman 1st Class, which is a comparatively lower rank, and his formal title is Cyber Transport Systems journeyman.
It is unclear what degree of security clearance Mr. Texeira possessed, but the Air Force website states that a single scope background check is necessary for employment in the position (SSBI). Access to top secret information is apparently contingent upon having such clearance.
Pentagon officials were not made aware of the leak until intelligence data was shared outside the chat room group, which led to a thorough investigation into who was responsible.
In addition to the suspect’s age, the motive is seen as uncommon.
Friends claimed that Mr. Teixeira was neither a whistleblower nor a foreign agent, despite reports that he harbored skepticism toward the administration.
Although a spokesman claimed it was “the nature” of the US military to entrust young service members with high levels of responsibility, the Pentagon says it will review how sensitive material is distributed.