The FBI Found a Bazooka in Alleged Pentagon Leaker's Home
The Justice Department filed a motion on Thursday to hold Pentagon leaker Jack Teixeira without bail, arguing he is a flight risk and presents "an ongoing risk both to the national security of the United States and to the community." Teixeira, 21, allegedly released sensitive and confidential government information on Discord, an instant messaging site, according to an FBI investigation.OffEnglish
Teixeira signed multiple security and non-disclosure agreements with the Massachusetts Air National Guard that said he would never share government information with unauthorized personnel and acknowledged that sharing unauthorized classified information would constitute a criminal offense.
Teixeira's attorneys argued that he should be released to his father's custody but prosecutors say the defendant is unstable and could share more government information he has knowledge or records of that could be detrimental to U.S. national security. "The nature of the materials that the Defendant accessed--not all of which have publicly surfaced--have the capacity to cause additional exceptionally grave damage to the U.S. national security if disclosed," the memo says. "In addition, the Defendant's troubling history raises serious concerns about what he would do if released into the community."
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The FBI investigation uncovered Teixeira's disturbing past, revealing he was suspended from his high school in 2018 after a fellow student claimed he made racial threats and commented on weapons including Molotov cocktails, and guns at the school. Teixeira then attempted to purchase guns in both 2018 and 2019 but was denied by the local police department "over the Defendant's remarks at his high school," the memo says. After joining the military in 2020, Teixeira finally succeeded in obtaining guns, claiming his position in the military meant he did not pose a risk.
During the FBI's investigation, they found a gun locker located only two feet from Teixeira's bed containing handguns, bolt-action rifles, shotguns, an AK-style high-capacity weapon, and a gas mask. They also found a silencer-style accessory in his desk, and a military-style helmet and mounting bracket in the dumpster outside the house. All weapons were seized, but a search of his parent's residences found bolt-action rifles, AR and AK-style weapons, and a bazooka.
The memo states there is a concern for the public given that Teixeira's parents' weapons weren't seized, and if released to his father's custody, he would have access to them.
Prosecutors said an additional concern is that in July 2022, Teixeira used his government computer to search the terms "Ruby Ridge," "Las Vegas shooting," "Mandalay Bay shooting," "Buffalo tops shooting," and "Uvalde," all of which were not related to his position in information technology.
The government has also expressed concern that if Teixeira was released, other countries considered hostile to the U.S. could offer to evacuate him in exchange for government intelligence. If convicted, Teixeira faces a minimum of 25 years in prison, and prosecutors argue it could be a motivator for him to flee the country.
Teixeira and his attornies say in a memorandum that claims that he would be "seduced by a foreign adversary" is all speculation, saying, "This argument is illusory." His attorneys argue there is nothing to support the allegations that Teixeira "currently, or ever, intended any information purportedly to the private social media server to be widely disseminated," adding that he has no prior criminal history and claims that he would further release or destroy confidential information "rings hollow."
Teixeira's detention hearing was scheduled at 1 p.m. EST on Thursday in Worcester, Massachusetts.