Suspected Pentagon leaker Jack Teixeira to remain jailed until trial

·2 min read
Jack Teixeira in a 19 April court drawing
Airman Jack Teixeira has been in custody since the FBI arrested him on 13 April

A federal judge has ruled a US airman suspected of leaking classified files must remain behind bars until his trial.

Jack Teixeira, 21, stands accused of leaking dozens of files online, including sensitive documents about US allies and military operations abroad.

He has been in custody since being arrested by FBI agents in Massachusetts on 13 April.

The young airman faces decades in prison if convicted of the crimes.

Prosecutors had argued that Mr Teixeira could be a flight risk, posed a threat to US national security and demonstrated a "wilful disregard" for classified information.

"He accessed and may still have access to a trove of classified information that would be of tremendous value to hostile nation states that could offer him safe harbour and attempt to facilitate his escape from the United States," a memo filed to the court said.

His defence team had argued that he should be released to stay in his home alongside relatives, Air Force personnel, or lawyers. His lawyers characterised the government's assertion he may flee as "speculation".

"If the government's fears about Mr Teixeira's intent to flee are to be believed, then he would have done so at the time he became aware of the public reports," attorneys Allen Franco and Brendan Kelley wrote in a memo.

"Mr Teixeira made no attempt to flee, even after being publicly named as a suspect."

In court papers filed earlier this week, prosecutors revealed that Mr Teixeira had on several occasions previously been caught and reprimanded for viewing information "that was not related to his primary duty and was related to the intelligence field".

In one of the "concerning actions" highlighted by prosecutors, Mr Teixeira was suspected of "potentially ignoring a cease-and-desist order on deep diving into intelligence" after posing "very specific questions" during a classified briefing.

If convicted of the charges, Mr Teixeira faces up to 25 years in prison.

A memo from prosecutors earlier this week said that his total prison time could be "potentially far more" - a possible indication that he may still be facing additional charges.

The dozens of leaked documents included US assessments of the war in Ukraine as well as sensitive secrets about American allies including Egypt, South Korea and the UAE.

The leaks embarrassed Washington and raised fresh questions over the security of classified information.