Last week, a ton of military documents leaked onto popular social media platforms. It originated from a smaller Discord server, and was eventually reposted in a Minecraft community. New details just came out about the original leaker and he’s not exactly a swell guy.
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The New York Times reported that the leaker was a member of the 102nd Intelligence Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Jack Teixeira, who was known by his online nickname “OG,” was the leader of “Thug Shaker Central,” a Discord server where members would share racist jokes and memes. According to an interview with The Washington Post, its members initially met as fans of Oxide, a YouTuber who streams about guns and body armor. The small group of fans eventually migrated to the Discord server, which became a refuge for them during the pandemic lockdowns.
Teixeira reportedly told the other Thug Shaker Central members that he worked on a military base, and he regularly shared classified intelligence with the group. He hand-typed his notes about the classified documents, since he spent part of his time in a compound that prohibited electronic devices. Teixeira gained popularity for his “prophetic” ability to “predict” major events, and members of the racist Discord server admired him.
“He’s fit. He’s strong. He’s armed. He’s trained. Just about everything you can expect out of some sort of crazy movie,” a member told the Post. Apparently, a video of Teixeira shooting guns at a range while shouting racist and anti-semitic slurs wasn’t a dealbreaker for them.
However, the group’s dynamics weren’t always so flattering for Teixeira. Members originally ignored his classified transcriptions. He got “upset” when people were more interested in YouTube gun videos, and started posting actual photos of the original documents (presumably for clout). He posted the potential trajectories of North Korean nuclear missiles aimed at the United States, satellite images showing the damage caused by Russian missile strikes on Ukraine, and photos of February’s headline-making Chinese spy balloon. While most members knew that the documents shouldn’t be shared, one teenager leaked them to another Discord server created for fans of comedy YouTuber wow_mao. The images eventually spread from the wow_mao server to the server called “Minecraft Earth Map.”
Today Teixeira was arrested by the FBI for “alleged unauthorized removal, retention and transmission of classified national defense information.” The Department of Justice told reporters that it would not be taking further questions.
Despite the overt racism apparent in the “Thug Shaker Central” Discord, an anonymous member told the Post that that community was not “a fascist recruiting server.”
Update 4/13/2023 3:39 p.m. ET: The article has been updated with new story details.