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Report: Leaker of classified documents also posted antisemitic content

The leaked information reportedly came from a 21-year-old Air National Guard member

The person behind one of the most significant leaks of classified information in recent American history has made antisemitic and other bigoted statements online.

According to investigations by the The Washington Post and Bellingcat, the documents — which contain sensitive information about the war in Ukraine and American allies — was posted over a period of months to a small, private Discord server set up by a group of gamers, some of whom were teenagers.

On Thursday, The New York Times identified the leaker as Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old who worked in the intelligence wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. According to the Times the FBI began searching Teixeira’s home in North Deighton, in the southeastern part of the state. The FBI confirmed that it had arrested him there. 

In one video seen by the Post, the person allegedly behind the leaks can be seen holding a rifle and wearing protective covering over his eyes and ears, while yelling antisemitic and racist slurs. The Post has not confirmed whether that person is Teixeira. 

According to the Post, many of those who belonged to the group Teixera led on Discord would regularly make racist jokes, though one teenager who spoke on the condition of anonymity downplayed the comments, saying the forum was not aimed at promoting fascism. 

Discord, one of the most common ways gamers communicate online, allows users to set up private chat servers. The service has come under fire from the Anti-Defamation League for failing to remove bigoted content. In a statement released shortly after the 2020 murder of George Floyd, Discord leadership said the company has a responsibility to thwart the dissemination of hateful and violent content and that it had created a task force “to make Discord more diverse, more trusted, and more inclusive” and was looking for ways to use tech to identify bad actors. 

Discord representatives did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

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