After a Bellingcat-aided hunt, the outlet claims to have recognized the supply of categorised paperwork
The US navy’s categorised briefings on Ukraine and different locations had been allegedly obtained by a younger member of the Massachusetts Air Nationwide Guard, however had been shared past a closed on-line group by an unnamed teenager, the New York Instances reported on Thursday.
The outlet named the alleged leaker as Jack Teixeira, “a 21-year-old member of [the 102nd] Intelligence Wing of the Massachusetts Air Nationwide Guard.” This was a results of a search by social media posts and navy data, in addition to conversations with teenage members of the group “Thug Shaker Central” on Discord, a messaging platform common with video avid gamers.
The group was described as a spot the place “about 20 to 30 individuals, principally younger males and youngsters, got here collectively over a shared love of weapons, racist on-line memes and video video games.”
Neither of the 4 group members the Instances reporters spoke with would identify the person they solely referred to as “the OG” however the outlet claims to have recognized him by “a path of digital proof.”
The Instances additionally tracked down Teixeira’s house in Massachusetts and spoke together with his mom. She confirmed his membership within the Air Nationwide Guard however wouldn’t say any extra.
Whereas the outlet blames the airman for posting the categorised paperwork within the Discord chat, the group members say Teixeira was not answerable for them getting out. One other group member, an adolescent, had posted them on a public discussion board, they mentioned.
“This man was a Christian, anti-war, simply needed to tell a few of his buddies about what’s happening,” mentioned one other member of the group, recognized solely as a 17-year-old highschool graduate. “We have now some individuals in our group who’re in Ukraine. We like combating video games, we like battle video games.”
The existence of the group and the “OG” character was reported by the Washington Publish earlier within the day. Whereas the Publish article had two bylines, the Instances had eight – together with 4 extra contributors credited on the finish. The highest-billed identify was Aric Toler, an worker of Bellingcat.
The controversial “open supply intelligence” outfit arose throughout the Syrian battle to push pro-Western narratives, has obtained funding from a number of Western governments, and was caught final summer time working with the Ukrainian authorities on a fighter jet heist.
The paperwork that made their approach to the general public confirmed inside intelligence assessments of the state of affairs in Ukraine. A number of officers, US and international, have challenged a few of the claims within the paperwork as false or doctored. The Pentagon has not formally acknowledged the information as genuine, however launched a crackdown on intelligence distribution and vowed to seek out the leaker. The White Home has requested the US media to not publish any of the revelations, arguing they don’t belong within the public area. The shops dutifully complied and centered on outing the supply as an alternative.
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