Airman accused of leaking US intelligence to remain behind bars until trial

US News

The US airman accused of leaking classified files will remain in jail until his trial, a judge has ruled.

Jack Teixeira is accused of leaking scores of documents, including sensitive information on America’s allies and operations abroad, on to the social media site Discord.

The 21-year-old has been held behind bars since his arrest on 13 April.

His lawyers had asked for him to be held under house arrest until his trial, but their request was denied by magistrate judge David Hennessy at federal court in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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No trial date has so far been set.

Jack Michael Teixeira arrives for the detention hearing for his son, Jack Douglas Teixeira, the US National Guardsman accused of leaking military secrets, at the federal courthouse in Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S., May 19, 2023.
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Jack Teixiera’s father, Jack Michael Teixeira, arrives at the detention hearing in Worcester, Massachusetts

Teixiera is accused of breaching the Espionage Act in what has been described as the largest leak of classified documents since the WikiLeaks scandal of 2010.

“Who did he put at risk?” said Judge Hennessy. “You could make a list as long as a phone book.”

Teixeira appeared at the hearing in an orange jumpsuit and a new buzz haircut.

In deciding to keep Teixeira behind bars, Hennessy said it was not “implausible at all that a foreign government would make overtures to this defendant to get information”.

The judge also cited what he said was Teixeira’s fascination with guns, which has “an unhealthy component,” and a lack of integrity.

Teixeira’s family said they were “disappointed” with the ruling and remained “steadfast and determined in our complete support of Jack”.

Read more:
What was in the leaked Pentagon documents?
Who is the 21-year-old national guardsman suspected of US intelligence leaks?
Behind the veil of Discord platform where US secrets were exposed

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What we’ve learned from US leaks

The leaked documents held highly classified information on allies and adversaries, with details ranging from Ukraine’s air defences to Israel’s Mossad spy agency.

President Joe Biden has ordered an investigation into why the alleged leaker had access to the sensitive information.

Teixeira is being held in Plymouth County jail, south of Boston.

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