Tuesday, 30 May, 2023

Jack Teixeira: Prosecutors say airman poses ongoing national security risk

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 27th April, 2023 02:45:12 PM
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Jack Teixeira: Prosecutors say airman poses ongoing national security risk

Federal prosecutors in the US say that Jack Teixeira, the airman charged with leaking secret defence information, may still have access to classified material, reports BBC.

Mr Teixeira worked as an IT specialist at the 102nd Intelligence Support Squadron in Massachusetts.

Prosecutors are requesting that he remain in jail while awaiting trial as he poses a "serious flight risk".

The 21-year-old is due to appear a detention hearing on Thursday.

Investigators are still working to determine how Mr Teixeira allegedly leaked more than 100 pages of classified documents that included sensitive information about US allies and the war in Ukraine.

In court documents filed on Wednesday, the lawyers argued that Mr Teixeira posed an "ongoing risk both to the national security of the United States and to the community."

"The nature of the materials that the Defendant accessed - not all of which have publicly surfaced - have the capacity to cause additional exceptionally grave damage to the US national security if disclosed," reads the document.

Prosecutors have also said that Mr Teixeira's "obstructive and deceptive acts to date compound his risk of flight and dangerousness". They state that after his arrest, the FBI found a tablet, a laptop and an Xbox gaming console at his home that had been smashed and placed in a dumpster.

"These efforts appeared calculated to delay or prevent the government from gaining a full understanding of the seriousness and scale of his conduct."

Two commanders at Mr Teixeira's unit have been put on leave pending an investigation, the US Air Force said.

They have also temporarily lost access to classified systems and information.

The Air Force told the BBC's US news partner CBS that more members of Mr Teixeira's unit could face suspension or removal as the investigation into the leaked documents continued.

The suspended leaders were the operation commander and detachment commander of the 102nd Intelligence Wing, the US Air Force said.

"Both the squadron's state Air National Guard operational commander and current federal orders administrative commander have been suspended pending completion of the Department of the Air Force Inspector General Investigation," an Air Force spokesman told Reuters news agency.

Their names were not released.

The unit was relieved of its intelligence-gathering duties earlier this month.

All units were also ordered to carry out a "security-focused stand down" some time in the next month, the Air Force said.

The leaked intelligence material first appeared in a Discord chat room, which Mr Teixeira is said to have helped administer.

The documents were then shared outside the chat room by some of its members, the FBI said.

The agency said that Mr Teixeira had held a "top secret" security clearance since 2021, and that he would have "signed a lifetime binding non-disclosure agreement" to take on his role in the US Air Force.

Mr Teixeira faces up to 15 years in prison over charges of unauthorised transmission of defence information.

He is also charged with the unauthorised removal and retention of classified documents.