Discord in the ranks: Lone Airman behind top-secret info leak on chat platform

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There was only 1 US Air National Guardsman down nan leak of top-secret US subject documents connected Discord, but his concatenation of bid bears immoderate work for letting it hap connected their watch.

The US Air Force reached that conclusion successful an August report [PDF] made nationalist yesterday into nan actions of Airman 1st Class Jack Teixeira, who was arrested successful April connected suspicion that he had stolen and shared classified subject documents connected a backstage Discord server that later recovered their measurement to nan wider net – and, presumably, into nan hands of overseas governments.

According to nan USAF's investigation, Teixeira was nan only personification straight progressive successful nan leaks, which he began sharing pinch his chap Discorders arsenic early arsenic February 2022.

Teixeira was a personnel of nan 102nd Intelligence Wing (102 IW), moving arsenic a computer/IT master until his arrest. His activity performing systems attraction connected nan Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communication System (JWICS), classified arsenic a Top Secret-Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS-SCI) platform, gave him nan expertise to "view intelligence contented and study ... connected those systems," nan USAF said.

While Teixeira appears to person acted alone, location were arsenic galore arsenic 4 occasions successful which he displayed informing signs that members of his portion recognized yet grounded to enactment upon.

Per nan USAF report, Teixeira "was observed viewing intelligence contented connected TS-SCI websites" successful August 2022, and while his supervisor was informed, nan incident wasn't different documented.

A period later he was again spotted viewing intelligence documents while penning accusation connected a Post-It note. While Teixeira was confronted, told to shred nan note, and nan incident was documented successful writing, "it was ne'er verified what was written connected nan statement aliases whether it was shredded." Neither nan Post-It incident nor nan August incident were reported to information officials, nan USAF found.

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In October 2022, "Teixeira asked very elaborate questions and moreover attempted to reply questions utilizing suspected TS-SCI accusation he did not person a request to know," nan USAF said. His supervisor was informed of "suspected intelligence-seeking behavior" and Teixeira was told to cease and desist his intelligence heavy dives. Again, nan incident was documented but nary information charismatic was informed.

It wasn't until January 2023 that higher-level portion activity was made alert of Teixeira's behaviour erstwhile he was caught viewing intelligence contented yet again and his supervisor decided to pass squadron leadership.

A "substantially minimized" type of activity concerns were passed to information officials, but nary copies of nan memorandums for grounds "or an meticulous explanation of nan information concerns" were included.

"As a result, further disposable information actions were not taken and nary further enquiry aliases investigation occurred," nan study found. Had Teixeira's leadership, peculiarly 3 group successful his nonstop concatenation of command, travel guardant "the magnitude and extent of nan unauthorized disclosures whitethorn person been reduced by respective months."

In summation to nan nonstop activity nonaccomplishment to extremity Teixeira's actions, nan USAF study recovered respective systemic failures successful his unit's building that contributed, including a deficiency of supervision of nan nighttime displacement connected which Teixeira served. Additional failures included nary permissions controls to show people jobs (Teixeira allegedly printed documents), inconsistent "need to know" guidelines, and a nonaccomplishment to decently see accusation connected inheritance checks.

Air Force takes action

Along pinch Teixeira's imprisonment and pending trial, 15 Air National Guard leaders person been disciplined for their nonaccomplishment to act, ranging from non-commissioned officers each nan measurement up to high-ranking leadership.

Colonel Sean Riley, 102 IW commander, was relieved of his command, while Colonel Enrique Dovalo, 102nd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Group commander, received "administrative action for concerns pinch portion civilization and compliance pinch policies and standards."

Commanders antecedently suspended during nan Teixeira investigation were permanently removed, and nan full 102nd ISR Group has been taken disconnected ngo and its duties reassigned.

The USAF has besides undertaken reforms to its need-to-known and classified information entree standards, nan branch reported.

"Every Airman and Guardian is entrusted pinch nan intense work to safeguard our nation's classified defense information. When location is simply a breach of that ineffable trust, for immoderate reason, we will enactment successful accordance pinch our laws and policies to clasp responsible individuals accountable," said Secretary of nan Air Force Frank Kendall. ®