The Justice Department has filed a court document accusing Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira of repeatedly attempting to obstruct federal investigators and having a “troubling” history of making racist and violent comments. In a court filing of 18 pages, released before a detention hearing scheduled for Thursday in a Massachusetts federal court, prosecutors argued that Airman Teixeira needed to be detained indefinitely as he posed a “serious flight risk” and might still have information that would be of “tremendous value to hostile nation states.” The government added that he had accessed a vast amount of sensitive information, an amount that far exceeds what has been publicly disclosed so far. The document accuses him of racist and violent behavior, engaging in regular discussions about violence and murder on social media, and even having firearms and tactical gear surrounding his bed at his parents’ home. The government’s allegations are sure to raise new questions about how Airman Teixeira obtained a top-secret security clearance that gave him access to some of the country’s most sensitive intelligence reports. In arguing for his confinement, prosecutors described a panicky, feckless effort by Airman Teixeira to cover up his actions as law enforcement closed in, including instructing a user to stonewall investigators and trying to destroy evidence. The government has yet to indict him before a grand jury, but prosecutors said in their filing on Wednesday that he could face 25 years or more in prison if convicted.
The material Teixeira is accused of posting online revealed the access Western intelligence agencies have to internal Kremlin deliberations, as well as concerns of the U.S.-led alliance trying to contain Russian aggression without prompting a wider conflict. It was discovered that he had begun sharing sensitive information in February 2022, within 48 hours of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with a chat group of about 600 members. The filing provided little insight into what prompted Teixeira to leak internal U.S. intelligence assessments, but it cast his actions, which had previously been seen as mainly motivated by his desire to show off to younger friends online, in a somewhat darker light. Investigators found a small arsenal in his bedroom at the house he shared with his mother and stepfather, including handguns, bolt-action rifles, shotguns, an AK-style high-capacity weapon, ammunition, tactical pouches, and what appeared to be a silencer-style accessory in his desk drawer. Teixeira expressed his desire to kill a “ton of people” and cull the “weak-minded” in his social media posts from 2022 and 2023.
How Airman Teixeira obtained the documents he is accused of posting online has been a critical question for investigators, and they believe he used administrator privileges connected to his role as an information technology specialist to retrieve the documents.