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Air Force suspends 2 commanders from unit where Pentagon leak suspect worked

The highly classified documents are alleged to have been leaked by Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old Air National Guardsman.

Two commanders in the military unit in which leak suspect Jack Teixeira worked have been suspended, the Air Force said Wednesday.

The commander of the 102nd Intelligence Support Squadron and a detachment commander were suspended, Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek said.

They were suspended “pending further investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” the Air Force said.

Teixeira, a Massachusetts Air National Guardsman, was arrested April 13 in connection with the investigation of classified documents that were leaked on the internet.

Teixeira, 21, an airman first class, was assigned to the 102nd Intelligence Wing at Otis Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts. He has been charged with possessing classified documents pertaining to national security and possessing national defense material.

Teixeira is alleged to have used the online forum Discord to share the leaked information with his small community of online friends and to have taken photos of paper documents that he may have smuggled out of a secure facility.

Many of the more than 50 leaked documents NBC News obtained were labeled “Top Secret,” the highest level of classification. They reveal details of U.S. spying on Russia’s war machine in Ukraine and secret assessments of Ukraine’s combat power, as well as intelligence about America’s allies, including South Korea and Israel.

Jack Teixeira.
Jack Teixeira.via Facebook

The commander of the 102nd Intelligence Support Squadron who was suspended was not identified in Wednesday’s Air Force statement.

The detachment commander who was suspended was in charge of overseeing administrative support for airmen at the unit, the Air Force said.

“Commanders are taking appropriate action as information becomes available,” the Air Force said. “All suspensions are temporary pending further investigation.”

Teixeira was a cyber defense operations journeyman and had been granted top-secret security clearance in 2021, according to an FBI affidavit filed in the criminal case against him.

The incident has raised questions among lawmakers in Washington about who has access to classified materials and about safeguards.

The Air Force last week halted the intelligence mission of the 102nd Intelligence Wing as the service’s inspector general investigates. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered a review of how classified information is handled and secured.

Teixeira has not entered a plea, according to court records.

A detention hearing has been delayed at the request of his lawyers and is scheduled for Thursday.