A 20-page FBI application for a search warrant at the home where Jack Teixeira was arrested provides more details on the case of leaked documents, including that the fellow forum user who reported him to the feds saw a video of him shooting an old Soviet pistol.
Jack Teixeira, 21, was arrested at 1841 Maple St. in North Dighton Thursday. The E-3/Airman First Class for the Massachusetts Air National Guard was charged the next day in federal court in Boston with two charges: unauthorized removal and transmission of national defense information and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or materials.
Teixeira was the leader of a Discord server — which is what the gaming-dominated social media platform calls individual groups or forums — that the feds say illegally hosted more than 40 images “which contain various classification markings, including documents marked at the ‘TOP SECRET’ level, and which appear to depict U.S. Government classified national defense information.” The postings were allegedly made between December 2022 and last month. The server contained about 50 members.
That’s accordinging to an affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Victoria Horne under a separate docket in the federal court that argues probable cause to search the Maple Street home, another single-family home at 106 Walker St., a red 2016 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck and a Motorola Ultra 108MP cellphone, as well as “the contents of any additional electronic devices found in the locations.”
The Maple Street location where he was arrested appears to be owned by his mother Dawn and the Walker Street home appears to be owned by his father Jack, according to local assessor records.
The leaked documents have already had some effect, according to multiple reports, including U.S. intelligence analysis of Taiwan’s air defenses that show it could be vulnerable to an attack by China. Specifically, that only half of Taiwan’s aircraft would be “fully mission capable” in a sudden attack.
Despite the sensitivity of the materials leaked, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Saturday at a press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, that in discussions with allies on the issue, “I have not heard anything that would affect our cooperation with allies and partners.”
“Although certain information has been posted on various social media sites, there is good cause to believe that additional, highly sensitive documents containing classified U.S. national defense information will be found at the subject premises,” Horne wrote in the conclusion to the affidavit.
The case began with another user of the Discover server — which this person described as a place “to discuss geopolitical affairs and current and historical wars” — who the affidavit describes only as “USER 1” reporting that a user he identified as Teixeira was posting supposedly sensitive information.
USER 1 said that Teixeira, in addition to allegedly sharing the documents, posted things like a video of him shooting a Tarkov pistol, which the affidavit says is an out-of-production Soviet pistol from the World War II era.
Teixeira, Horne writes, possesses a security clearance at the TS//SCI level due to his employment as a Cyber Defense Operations Journeyman at Otis Air National Guard Base on Cape Cod. He enlisted in the guard in September 2019 and obtained his E-3 rank in May of last year.
That security clearance, Top Secret clearance with access to Sensitive Compartmented Information, requires eight to 15 months to approve, according to the U.S. General Services Administration, compared to an eight-month process for Top Secret Clearance without the SCI access.
The affidavit says he obtained this clearance in 2021 and that to be eligible he “would have signed a lifetime, binding non-disclosure agreement in which he would have had to acknowledge that the unauthorized disclosure of protected information could result in criminal charges.”
The Colorado is Teixeira’s car, as the license plate listed in the search warrant application matches the license plate number in his employment file, according to the affidavit. Teixeira’s relatives who attended his initial court appearance left in a white Toyota Rav4, not a Chevy.
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge David Hennessy on Friday ordered Teixeira held without bail pending a full detention hearing scheduled for Wednesday at an undetermined time.
Teixeira, who was represented by Brendan Kelley of the Federal Public Defender’s office in Boston for the hearing, was handcuffed and escorted out of the courtroom following the brief hearing where his only words were to agree that he understood his right to remain silent.
Another attorney at the Public Defender’s office, Allen Franco, subsequently joined the defense team, according to court filings.