The FBI on Thursday arrested an employee of the U.S. Air Force National Guard over the leaks online of classified US documents that embarrassed Washington with allies around the world.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland said the FBI arrested the man, Jack Teixeira, “in connection with an investigation into alleged unauthorized removal, retention, and transmission of classified national defense information.”
The FBI said its agents had made an arrest and were conducting “authorized law enforcement activity at a residence in North Dighton, Massachusetts.”
Video images played on news channels showed heavily armed officers in Massachusetts accompanying a young man wearing a gray t-shirt and bright red shorts into a waiting car. His head was bowed and his hair was close-cropped.
The leaks were a “deliberate, criminal act,” the Pentagon said. Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder referred questions about the investigation to the Department of Justice.
Some of the most sensitive leaked details are purportedly related to Ukraine’s military capabilities and shortcomings, and information about U.S. allies including Israel, South Korea and Turkey.