Pentagon papers leak: Suspect identified and arrested, says FBI

The Pentagon building in Virginia. AFP/Flie

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Thursday confirmed that an arrest has been made and authorised law enforcement activity is underway at a residential property in North Dighton, Massachusetts.

A member of the US Air National Guard has been arrested by the FBI for leaking classified Pentagon papers.

The leak of classified Pentagon documents embarrassed Washington and its allies around the world. The FBI arrested Jack Teixeira in connection with an investigation into the alleged unauthorised removal, retention, and transmission of classified national defense information.

According to Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI agents took Teixeira into custody earlier without incident. The investigation is underway and the FBI has confirmed that authorised law enforcement activity is taking place at a residence in North Dighton, Massachusetts, according to the US media reports.

It is pertinent to note here that the Pentagon papers first appeared on social media sites in March. US officials have been searching for the leaker for weeks.

The intelligence reports supposedly reveal details of Ukrainian military vulnerabilities and information about allies including Israel, South Korea, and Turkey. The Pentagon is currently assessing the damage caused by the leak of intelligence reports, and the Department of Defense has referred the matter to the Justice Department. As a result, the department launched a formal criminal investigation last week.

The leak of the classified documents has caused concerns around the world. Many countries, including Britain, have questioned the very truth of some of the leaked documents. Some of the most sensitive details in the leaked documents relate to Ukraine’s military capabilities and shortcomings, as well as information about US allies.

President Joe Biden, who is on a three-day tour of Ireland, has said that he is not overly concerned about the leak. However, he confirmed that there is a full-blown investigation taking place, and that the intelligence community and the Justice Department are getting close to the leak source.

Jack Teixeira was promoted to Airman 1st Class in July, according to a post on the 102nd Intelligence Wing’s official Facebook page. The unit did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

The New York Times earlier reported that the 21-year-old suspect was a National Guardsman who led Thug Shaker Central, an online group where about 20 to 30 people shared their love of guns, racist memes, and video games. The newspaper also mentioned some interviews and documents it reviewed.

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