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Air National Guardsman arrested as suspected leaker of Pentagon documents

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The Pentagon is seen from Air Force One as it flies over Washington on March 2.

Patrick Semansky/AP

A 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, Jack Teixeira, was arrested as a suspect in the recent leak of classified U.S. intelligence documents, the Department of Justice said Thursday.

“FBI agents took Teixeira into custody earlier this afternoon without incident,” Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters at a briefing in Washington, D.C. “He will have an initial appearance at the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.”

On Wednesday, the Washington Post first reported that the leaker worked on a U.S. military base and shared the classified documents in a group on the platform Discord.

The documents, which came to light on social media last week, included sensitive information about the war in Ukraine. Documents viewed by NPR showed what appeared to be briefing slides about the war, with maps and charts on Ukraine’s troops and weapons. Some of the posts online showed photos of physical documents that were folded and creased in some instances.

The Department of Justice opened an investigation into the leaks, which Garland said is ongoing.

Before Teixeira was identified, President Biden weighed in on the matter during his visit oversees in Ireland.

Biden said he was “concerned that it happened,” though he added that “there was nothing contemporaneous that I’m aware of that is of great consequence.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was also asked about the leaks and said the White House was reviewing any national security implications.

“This is something that we are taking very seriously,” she said Thursday morning from Ireland.

After Teixeira’s arrest, Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the chair of the Armed Services Committee, said Congress would be briefed on the leak. A hearing is scheduled for next week.

“More answers are still needed. There are systemic issues that need to be addressed, including protocols for how intelligence is handled, the security clearance process and how officials can prevent intelligence leaks like this from ever happening again,” Reed said in a statement.

This story will be updated.