Jack Teixeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, was arrested on Thursday by heavily armed FBI police forces.
The 21-year-old is said to be suspected of being behind the so-called Pentagon leak, which revealed details described as grave, including the war in Ukraine and US relations with other countries.
The arrest took place in Teixera’s home town of North Dighton with the help of heavily armed police.
Shortly before his arrest, the Washington Post had published an interview with a boy under the age of 18 who was a member of a Discord chat group called “Thug Shaker Central” that discussed video games, religion, politics and military issues.
The 18-year-old said that Teixeira, whom he admired and refused to name, had first started to copy secret reports and post them on the group. Later, he found a way to photograph the reports and post the images.
Jack Teixeira, who is described as the leader of the group, allegedly expressed strongly critical views of the government under the name “OG”, but according to the same source, Teixeira never intended the documents to be disseminated outside the closed group.
White House spokespeople have downplayed the information, while US President Joe Biden has also said he is “concerned” about the leaks.
It is considered likely that Teixeira could be prosecuted under the Espionage Act and could face a long prison sentence.