The Air National Guardsman accused of leaking a trove of sensitive Pentagon documents had shared other classified information online to larger groups far earlier than previously known, according to social media postings.
Jack Teixeira, the airman who has been arrested in connection to the unauthorized release of Pentagon documents, began posting secret intelligence reports detailing Russian military efforts as early as February 2022, according to data compiled by the New York Times. The information was posted on the chat platform Discord by a user profile matching Teixeira and was shared to a group that contained about 600 members.
The first leak came less than 48 hours after Russia initially invaded Ukraine, with the account linked to Teixeira writing detailed descriptions of the classified documents and identifying which intelligence agencies they came from, the outlet reported. In one post, Teixeira even appeared to brag about his access to the documents.
“Saw a pentagon report saying that ⅓rd of the force is being used to invade,” the user wrote. “I have a little more than open source info. Perks of being in a [U.S. Air Force] intel unit."
It remains unclear how Teixeira gained access to the documents, although investigators have indicated that's a key question of their inquries.
Some of the intelligence posted appeared to foretell battlefield developments. On March 27, 2022, the user shared classified information about the Russian pullback from Kyiv, information he said he “found on an NSA site.”
Other posts appeared to share military attacks before they occurred, including one instance in which he wrote about "big news" that Russian officials would carry out a "planned withdrawal of the troops west of Kiev." Two days later, Russian officials announced that withdrawal.
The latest revelations come after Teixeira was arrested on April 13 in connection to the data breach, in which the airman is accused of leaking classified documents on another Discord group that contained about 50 members. Teixeira began posting sensitive information in that group in October 2022, detailing several instances in which U.S. intelligence agencies have been tipped off about Russian strikes, allowing the U.S. to warn Ukraine ahead of time.
The earlier leaks contained documents detailing Russian and Ukrainian casualties as well as information on the Kremlin’s spy agencies, according to the outlet. In those posts, Teixeira claimed to be posting information directly from the NSA, CIA, and other intelligence agencies.
The leaked documents prompted widespread concerns among U.S. intelligence officials as they continue to monitor the war in Ukraine, raising questions as to how officials did not discover the leaks sooner. The documents don’t explicitly detail how the U.S. has penetrated Russian intelligence, but it’s not yet clear whether the Kremlin can cut off their information sources.
Several agencies announced investigations into the matter, including the Justice and Defense departments.
The document leak occurred in the lead-up to a much-anticipated Ukrainian military offensive that is expected to occur in the coming weeks, though it doesn't appear that any of the leaked documents contain any key details regarding those plans.
In February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine with the intent of overthrowing Kyiv's government, but the country was unsuccessful in the beginning. After failing to take Kyiv, Russia decided to refocus its attention specifically on the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine, and the fighting has now turned into grinding trench warfare.