Who is Jack Teixeira, the Massachusetts Air National Guard member charged in the Pentagon leak case?

The 21-year-old intelligence specialist did not enter a plea in his initial appearance in federal court in Boston on Friday.

Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old member of the U.S. National Guard, was charged Friday with unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information and willful retention of classified documents in connection with the alleged leaking of highly classified information on the war in Ukraine.

Here’s everything we know about Teixeira so far, culled from our original reporting and Yahoo News’ partner network, including the New York Times, the Military Times and ABC News.

Inside the courtroom

In an illustration in pastels, Jack Teixeira hangs his head in front of a judge, with two flags, one American, in the background.
Jack Teixeira appears before a federal judge in Boston on Friday in this courtroom sketch. (Margaret Small/Reuters)

In his initial appearance in federal court in Boston, Teixeira wore a beige smock and pants with a black T-shirt underneath, according to ABC News. He entered in handcuffs, which were removed before he sat at the defense table with his attorney, and appeared to briefly scan the crowd while in his seat.

He did not enter a plea and was ordered detained pending a detention hearing set for April 19.

As Teixeira was re-handcuffed and led out of court, someone in the front row called out, "Love you, Jack," according to ABC. He responded, "Love you, too, Dad."

The arrest

FBI agents arrest Jack Teixeira, who is wearing red shorts, and walk him to a van.
FBI agents arrest Teixeira in Dighton, Mass., on Thursday, in this image taken from video. (WCVB-TV via ABC via Reuters)

Teixeira, an airman first class with the Massachusetts Air Force National Guard's 102nd Intelligence Wing, based on Cape Cod, was taken into custody Thursday by federal agents in Dighton, Mass., about 15 miles east of Providence, R.I., and 45 miles south of Boston.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the arrest in a brief statement at the Justice Department, adding that Teixeira surrendered “without incident.”

Aerial footage from Boston-based news channel WCVB-TV showed Teixeira wearing a T-shirt and shorts, on a porch and reading a book, just before heavily armed tactical agents moved in, taking him into custody along a wooded driveway.

The investigation

Local police maintain a roadblock as FBI agents conduct a search of a home in Dighton, Mass.
Local police maintain a roadblock as FBI agents conduct a search of a home in Dighton, Mass., on Thursday. (Ross Kerber/Reuters)

The Pentagon and FBI had been scrambling to identify the source of the leak since last Friday, when a trove of Defense Department slides, many marked “Secret” or “Top Secret,” were posted to a private group on Discord, an online chat platform popular with gamers.

As Yahoo News reported earlier this week, the documents included “intelligence culled from a host of spy agencies — the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office and more — with a limitless purview reaching all regions of the globe.”

Speaking to reporters in Dublin, Ireland, earlier Thursday, President Biden said the United States was closing in on identifying a suspect.

“There’s a full-blown investigation going on, as you know, with the intelligence community and the Justice Department,” Biden said. “And they’re getting close.”

The background

Jack Teixeira in uniform.
Jack Teixeira. (via Facebook)

The New York Times, which first identified Teixeira as a suspect, reported that he oversaw a private online group on the Discord site called Thug Shaker Central, where “about 20 to 30 people, mostly young men and teenagers, came together over a shared love of guns, racist online memes and video games.” According to charging documents released Friday, a member of the group told federal agents that Teixeira began posting classified information to the Discord server in December.

Teixeira’s mother told the paper that her son had recently been working overnight shifts at the base on Cape Cod — and that he had recently changed his phone number.

According to the Military Times, he joined the Air National Guard in September 2019, serving as a “cyber transport systems journeyman,” which the publication describes as a “sort of information technology specialist.”

The response

An aerial view of the Pentagon.
The Pentagon. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters/File Photo)

Teixeira’s alleged disclosure of highly sensitive information has prompted the Department of Defense to reevaluate safety measures at the Pentagon.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday that he has ordered a thorough review of all "intelligence access, accountability and control procedures" and may take "additional measures necessary to safeguard our nation's secrets."

As the Associated Press pointed out, the “emergence of Teixeira as a primary suspect is bound to raise questions about how such a profound breach … could have been caused by such a young, low-ranking service member.”

“We entrust our members with a lot of responsibility at a very early age,” Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, said at a press conference Thursday, just before Teixeira’s arrest. “Think about a young combat platoon sergeant, and the responsibility and trust that we put into those individuals to lead troops into combat."

In a statement issued by the White House on Friday, Biden said, "I commend the rapid action taken by law enforcement to investigate and respond to the recent dissemination of classified U.S. government documents.

"While we are still determining the validity of those documents," the president added, "I have directed our military and intelligence community to take steps to further secure and limit distribution of sensitive information."