A damaging breach | WORLD
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A damaging breach

POLITICS | Classified material leak sparks global concern

A video still image shows authorities taking Teixeira, in T-shirt and shorts, into custody. WCVB-TV via AP

A damaging breach
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FBI agents on April 13 swarmed the home of 21-year-old Jack Teixeira, a Massachusetts Air National Guardsman allegedly responsible for leaking classified Pentagon documents in an online chat room. The leak represented a major breach of U.S. secrets and has prompted concerns from foreign leaders that information is not safe with Washington.

The Department of Justice ­suspects Teixeira, who has worked in the 102nd Intelligence Wing for the past two years, of sharing pictures of top secret briefings about the Ukraine war and other surveillance matters with his friends on the Discord app. The documents, dated between late February and early March, possibly circulated for weeks before the Pentagon opened an investigation in early April. Someone shared them beyond the group chat, which numbered between 20 and 30 participants, and hundreds of documents spread through gaming platforms and other social media channels like 4chan, Twitter, and Telegram.

The documents reveal spy ­networks in Ukraine, Russia, and even Israel and South Korea. Some reveal attack plans based on signal interception and human sources. With access to the leaked documents, Moscow could change its communication patterns or discover American assets, and a source close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told CNN Ukraine has already changed military plans as a result of the leak.

Teixeira has been charged with one count of violating the Espionage Act and another of unauthorized removal of classified documents. If convicted, he could serve up to 15 years in prison.

Kevin McCarthy (right) and Tsai Ing-wen

Kevin McCarthy (right) and Tsai Ing-wen Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Beijing threatens Taiwan

China on April 8 launched three days of aggressive war games in the straits surrounding Taiwan, involving multiple warships and ­dozens of fighter jet and bomber flights. The move was meant as a warning to the self-ruled island, which China claims as its own. China’s military said its “combat readiness patrols” could “fight at any time to resolutely smash any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ and foreign interference attempts.”

The combat simulation came quickly after U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., hosted Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen for a visit to the Reagan Presidential Library in California on April 5, calling her “a great friend of America.” Though the two leaders avoided discussing confrontation with China and instead praised unity between Taiwan and the United States, China’s embassy promised retribution for the insult. —C.L.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a WORLD reporter and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College. She resides in Washington, D.C.



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