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National guardsman alleged to be behind Pentagon documents leak arrested
13 April 2023, 20:00 | Updated: 13 April 2023, 21:13
A man has been arrested for leaking classified American defence and intelligence documents, US Attorney General Merrick Garland has confirmed.
The Justice Department arrested Jack Douglas Teixeira on Thursday on suspicion of leaking highly sensitive and classified documents.
He is believed to have been the head of a private online group of around 25 members, where the Pentagon documents were shared.
Texiera is a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, the New York Times reported, with officials following him "for some time".
He is now scheduled to make a court appearance at the US District Court in Massachusetts.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder said officials consider the leaks to be "very serious".
He said: "We [have] stringent guidelines in place for safeguarding classified and sensitive information.
"This was a deliberate criminal act, a violation of these guidelines."
The classified documents surfaced online last week and are believed to be one of the worst intelligence breaches in US history.
The leak of the intel report claims his top generals are plotting to "throw" the war in Ukraine to undermine his leadership.
Russia's leader Vladimir Putin is also receiving treatment for cancer, according to the leaked intelligence documents.
One hundred pages of documents were leaked, including ‘top secret’ pages with rumours that high ranking Kremlin officials were planning to ‘throw’ the war in Ukraine to ‘sabotage’ Putin’s leadership.
The plan reportedly hinges on Putin being incapacitated while receiving chemotherapy.
Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev and Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov were named as being behind the supposed plot.
It says it is 'presumably in an attempt to sabotage Russian President Vladimir Putin'.
The text says: “[Redacted] on 17 February learned of an alleged Russian plot to 'throw' the so-called 'special military operation,' presumably in an attempt to sabotage Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“According to who received the information from an unidentified Russian source with access to Kremlin officials, Russia planned to divert resources from Taganrog, Russia to Mariupol, Ukraine and focus its attention on the southern front.
“According to source, the plan for 'the offensive' (no further information) was suspected to be a strategy devised by Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev and Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov to sabotage presumably Putin.
“According to source, Gerasimov opposed the offensive; he informed Putin that the Ukrainian Armed Force' capabilities were superior to Russia's and cautioned that Russia would suffer heavy casualties were it to proceed with the offensive.
“[Redacted] on 22 February indicated that Gerasimov reportedly planned to continue his efforts to sabotage the offensive, nothing that he promised to 'throw' the so-called special military operation by 5 March, when Putin was allegedly scheduled to start a round of chemotherapy, and would thus be able to influence the war effort.”