Teixeira, the soldier who leaked secret US documents about Ukraine, accepts 16 years in prison

Jack Teixeira, a 22-year-old accused of leaking classified US military documents to fellow video gamers on the social media platform Discord, agreed on Monday to accept a 16-year prison sentence.

ABC News, citing a signed court declaration, reported that Teixeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, agreed to plead guilty to six counts of knowingly retaining and disseminating national defense information.

As part of his plea agreement, Teixeira must undergo questioning with the US Department of Defense and the US Department of Justice, and turn over any sensitive material that may still be in his possession.

He has been in custody since April 2023, when he was detained at his mother’s home in North Dighton, Massachusetts, after leaking classified files to a group of gamers on the Discord messaging app. At the time, he was serving as a cyber defense operations officer with the rank of Airman First Class at Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Teixeira began accessing classified records in January 2022, and continued working with classified records in September and October 2022 after being reprimanded by his superiors.

The documents leaked by Teixeira included highly classified military documents on Ukraine’s air defenses, South Korea’s munitions and the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, as well as Chinese interests in Nicaragua and Russian battles in the Arctic.

According to the investigation, he leaked the documents to influence players in the Discord messaging chat group.

The leak is considered the most serious breach of US national security since WikiLeaks published more than 700,000 classified documents in 2010. Following Teixeira’s arrest, his unit’s commanding officer, Sean Riley, was dismissed and 14 other Air National Guard officers and enlisted personnel were reprimanded.

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