Three journalists working for the New York Times were able to track down the alleged leaker of classified documents and make contact with Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira before the authorities. In a report from the outlet on Sunday, they showed the steps Aric Toler followed, with the help of Christiaan Trievert and Malachy Browne, to identify Teixeira.
After classified material had surfaced on multiple social media sites, Toler began by searching for where the material was originally posted. Toler was anonymously tipped off that there was similar material on a Discord server, an online locataion typically used for those interested in maps for the popular video game Minecraft. Toler was then direceted to another server, WOW_mao, that had more than 100 of other images uploaded by a user named Lucca.
After Toler had started live-tweeting his investigation, one member of "Thug Shaker Central," the name of the exclusive Discord channel where the info was posted, notified him that the original poster was username "OG." Browne and Trievert joined the hunt, and began looking at the games the members had played where they found the username of J Teixeira.
The three said they noticed the countertops in one of Teixeira’s instagram pages matched the surface in which classified documents sat in one of the leaked pictures. They spoke to Teixeira’s stepfather, retired Air Force master sergeant Thomas Dufault, who told them "He’s not going to communicate with anybody except an attorney at this point."
Later Thursday morning authorities arrived at the home to arrest the 21-year old. It was reported previously that authorities had been surveilling him for a couple of days, and had hoped to arrest Teixeira when he went to work, but he failed to show up. Authorities had feared an armed standoff because they knew he owned a number of weapons.
Teiexeira has been accused of leaking classified documents to his friends on their Discord server since last fall. Some of the documents were pertaining to troop and supply levels, as well as the level of United States involvement in the Ukraine and Russian war.
Many online have questioned how a 21-year old of relatively low rank was able to gain access to such high level material, while the chair of the House Intelligence Committee congressman Mike Turner (R) vowed to "examine why this happened, why it went unnoticed for weeks..."
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