Skip to main content

US military leak suspect arrested after being identified via Steam

Had posted top secret war documents on Discord.

Jack Teixeira.
Image credit: Jack Teixeira / Facebook.

The suspected leaker wanted by the FBI for releasing top secret military documentation via Discord has been arrested, after being identified using information gleaned from his Steam profile.

21-year-old Jack Teixeira from Massachusetts was scooped up by federal agents last night following a furious search over the course of this week.

Files apparently leaked by Teixeira included highly sensitive details about the war in the Ukraine, and information on US allies apparently obtained through covert means.

Newscast: Are Unreal Engine's procedural generation and Ubisoft's Ghostwriter the future of game development?Watch on YouTube

The whole affair has been an embarrassment for the US, not least because its perpertrator appears to be one of its own: a young US National Guard IT specialist who apparently leaked the documents to friends while playing video games.

According to the New York Times, Teixeira ran a Discord server named Thug Shaker Central, where he and group of around 20-30 friends, mostly teenagers, discussed "guns, racist online memes, and video games".

Speaking to The Washington Post, a member of the Thug Shaker Central Discord channel said Teixeira had become a leader to those in the group, and someone who shared the classified documents with them in an attempt to better educate the group about world affairs and US government motives.

He wanted to "keep us in the loop," the member said of Teixeira's actions. "He's a smart person. He knew what he was doing when he posted these documents, of course. These weren't accidental leaks of any kind."

Indeed, the Post's report claims Teixeira potentially leaked hundreds of documents via Discord, dating back to late last year.

It was only in March, when several documents were posted outside of the Thug Shaker Central Discord onto a Minecraft server, that knowledge of Teixeira's purported actions became more publicly known. Discord has said it is now cooperating fully with law enforcement.

With word of the documents finally out in the wild, the FBI swung into action. Ultimately, Teixeira was tracked down by a Steam profile in his name "that led to an Instagram profile with photos of the exact location where leaked docs were photographed," investigator Christiaan Triebert shared via Twitter.

These included a "kitchen countertop in his childhood home", where Teixeira still resided.

Teixeira is now set to appear in court in Boston later today.

Read this next