Jack Teixeira

Why Did Mass. Leak Suspect Jack Teixeira Have Access to Classified Documents?

A federal judge, meanwhile, is still weighing whether Teixeira will be held pending trial, or released

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It seems national security experts agree – Jack Teixeira shouldn’t have even had access to the classified documents he allegedly leaked.

In court filings that came out ahead of Thursday's detention hearing, prosecutors questioned how Teixeira received top secret clearance – considering he had been suspended in high school for comments made about guns and violence, and had been repeatedly denied a firearms license because of concerns raised by local police.



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Federal prosecutors argued Thursday the 21-year-old Airman First Class with the Air National Guard had top security clearance and should remain detained, posing a serious flight risk after authorities say he leaked classified documents on a social media gaming platform.

Investigators have also since discovered what they called an arsenal of weapons in his bedrooms at his parents’ homes, an alleged fixation with mass shootings, as well as alarming discussions online about killing people and creating an assassination van.

Counter-terrorism and military experts say these revelations should lead to changes in the top secret clearance vetting process.

“I would have thought that through the vetting process, there might have been some disqualifiers," counter-terrorism expert Todd McGhee said. "Why that didn’t happen is less about Mr. Teixeira and more about the process.”

There are questions about why 21-year-old Jack Teixeira, the Massachusetts Air National guardsman accused of leaking top secret documents online, was approved for top security clearance, given his history.

A federal judge, meanwhile, is still weighing whether Teixeira will be held pending trial, or released.

“The more we learn, the worse it gets and the more questions I have about why we didn’t catch this sooner, why someone in his chain of command or in the intelligence services didn’t realize that he was such a threat to our national security," Congressman Seth Moulton said.

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