Military Caught Airman Mishandling Secrets Before Arrest but Left Him in Job

Military Caught Airman Mishandling Secrets Before Arrest but Left Him in Job

Air Force officials found Airman Jack Teixeira making notes and searching for classified material in the months before he had been charged with leaking government secrets. However, they did not fire him, according to an official Justice Department document filed on Wednesday.

Airman Teixeira was admonished by his superiors twice in September and once in October 2022 after he took 'concerning action' when handling classified information. According to a court document, he also stuffed a note in his pocket after reviewing classified information within his unit. The hearing to determine if he will be released on bond is scheduled for Friday before a federal magistrate judge in Worcester.

Airman Teixeira, who shared secrets on Discord with online friends around the globe until March, was 'instructed to stop taking notes on classified intelligence information in any format', according to an 11-page memorandum from the national security division of the Department arguing for Teixeira's indefinite detention.

It is unclear how or if the airman's superiors enforced this directive.

This new information was meant to reinforce the government's argument, that Airman Teixeira’s insatiable desire to gather intelligence and share it with his online friends – which he admitted to being improper – makes his release to the public a threat to national security. It also raised new and troubling questions about the military's failure to prevent or minimize one of the worst intelligence leaks ever.

In retrospect, the signs of something amiss are unmistakable. The memo stated that a master sergeant working at an Air Force base in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, observed Airman Teixeira improperly accessing reports from the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communication System (the Pentagon's secure internal intranet system) late in January.

Teixeira was previously told to concentrate on his career and not seek out intelligence, wrote one of his superiors in a memo dated February 4, which prosecutors included with their filing.


After completing training to prevent 'unauthorized disclosure', Airman Teixeira was not only allowed to keep his job but also to retain his top-secret clearance. He was then awarded the second of two certifications.

Prosecutors cited these trainings in their filing as proof that Airman Teixeira (21), despite being "well aware of his duties", violated the laws and was not trustworthy if released.

Ann Stefanek, a spokesperson for the Air Force, said that two of Airman Teixeira’s superiors from the 102nd Intelligence Wing in Cape Cod were suspended pending the completion of an investigation by the Air Force Inspector General. She added that their access to classified data has been temporarily restricted.

The government has also revealed previously unreported Discord posts. One of them was from December 2022, in which he boasted about 'breaking a lot of UD regulations' -- a reference referring to 'unauthorized sharing' -- and said he didn't care if he could or couldn't share.

In their own filings, the legal team of Mr. Teixeira, who is seeking his release under $20,000 bail, argued he did not pose a risk of leaking new intelligence and pointed out previous cases in which leak suspects weren't detained for an extended period.

Last month, Mr. Teixeira’s father told a judge in Worcester that he will monitor his son's behavior if he is released. He also said that he will use surveillance cameras to alert him to any suspicious activity while he is at work.

The New York Times reported that much of what the public knows about Airman Teixeira comes from news reports about his posts on two Discord servers. One server had at least 600 members, from 25 different countries, according their online profiles.

In its latest filing, the government claimed that Mr. Teixeira leaked information on at least another Discord server, which had at least 150 users. 'Some of them represented they lived in foreign country', it said.

Prosecutors argued for Teixeira's detention, stating that he 'ignored the oath he took and published top-secret, sensitive documents to his own satisfaction'. The court should not have confidence in the fact that he will keep the promises made to it.

The government had argued previously that Airman Teixeira's release would be a danger to the community. It cited a history violent remarks and racial threat, including comments he made about making a Molotov Cocktail that led him to be suspended from high-school several years ago.

A Times investigation revealed Airman Teixeira's obsession with weapons, mass shootings, and dark conspiracy theories. While he enjoyed the respectability he had gained from his military service, and the access to intelligence that came with it, he was filled with contempt for the government. He accused the United States, among other things, of secret and nefarious acts: creating the Islamic State in Ukrainian laboratories, making chemical and biological weapons, and even orchestrating mass killings.

Airman Teixeira shared a conspiracy theory that was debunked in an online group after a gunman shot and killed three people in a Indiana mall last summer. He claimed that the gunman was just one of several mass shooters who were groomed by government agents as part of an elaborate secret plan to'make people vote for gun control'.