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Jack Teixeira: Pentagon leaker ‘researched mass shootings, talked of culling the weak’

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US Air National guardsman Jack Teixeira, who was arrested for leaking highly sensitive Pentagon documents, had a troubling history and talked about “violence and murder” on a social media platform, federal prosecutors alleged in a court filing. Jack Teixeira also researched mass shootings, an “assassination van” and spoke on social media about “culling the weak-minded” and killing a “ton of people”.

The details revealed about Teixeira in the court filings raise questions about the 21-year-old’s high-security clearance and why he was able to access such secretive documents. He leaked hundreds of military papers about the US and its allies, including the war on Ukraine. The Pentagon had termed the leak a risk to national security. Prosecutors also said that they believe he might still be holding on to more documents.

Prosecutors further said in the filing that Teixeira had a “virtual arsenal of weapons” stored at his residence. A gun locker near his bed containing an AK-style weapon, handguns, bolt-action rifles, shotguns and a gas mask were found during a search of his room. Another disturbing discovery was a hand-drawn design for a gun truck. 

In the filing, prosecutors urged a federal judge to keep Jack Teixeira in custody, citing his violent and troubling history that goes back to high school. In 2018, Jack Teixeira was suspended from school for discussing Molotov cocktails, weapons and racial threats. He regularly held “discussions about violence and murder” on Discord, the same platform he allegedly used to leak classified information.

Prosecutors said that recently he used his government computer to research past mass shootings and high-profile standoffs with federal agents.

They told the court that Jack Teixeira remains a grave threat to national security and a flight risk. About the leaked papers, investigators said that they are still trying to find out whether he has any physical or digital copies of classified information. 

“There simply is no condition or combination of conditions that can ensure the Defendant will not further disclose additional information still in his knowledge or possession,” prosecutors wrote. “The damage the Defendant has already caused to the US national security is immense. The damage the Defendant is still capable of causing is extraordinary.”

Prosecutors further said that Teixeira was inclined to make “racial threats” and the local police had flagged his behaviour when he applied for a firearms identification card.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Air Force announced that the commander of the 102nd Intelligence Support Squadron, where Teixeira worked, has been suspended. The same action had also been taken against the administrative commander “overseeing the support for the unit mobilised under federal orders,” pending further investigation. Both leaders’ access to classified systems and information had also been temporarily removed.

Teixeira has been charged under the Espionage Act for retaining and transmitting classified national defence information. He is yet to enter a plea.

(With inputs from agencies)

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