The Teixeira Leak: How Classified Documents Exposed Chinese Spy Balloons

On Thursday, the FBI announced that they had detained Jack Teixeira for the leak of dozens of classified US intelligence papers, the largest violation of national security in at least a decade.

As for Teixeira and the leak, here’s what we know:

Who is Jack Teixeira?

Teixeira, 21 years old, is an enlisted member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 102nd Intelligence Wing at Joint Base Cape Cod.

Why did Jack Teixeira Get Arrested?

Following the release of classified information related to the conflict in Ukraine as well as extensive US intelligence collecting on allies like Israel and South Korea, Teixeira was arrested on Thursday at his home in North Dighton, Massachusetts.

Teixeira was sitting on his balcony reading a book as the police closed in on him, seemingly oblivious to what was about to happen.

The case was initiated last week when some of the exchanged documents were discovered on Russian Telegram channels, and Teixeira was arrested after being named as a person of interest by the New York Times.

Word on the street has it that Teixeira was a major player in the “Thug Shakers Central” Discord server, where the leaked files first surfaced.

Jack Teixeira Allegedly Leaked Documents From the Pentagon That Showed at Least Four More Chinese Tracking Balloons

According to classified documents reportedly released by Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, in addition to the Chinese spy balloon that flew across the country earlier this year, US intelligence agencies were aware of as many as four other Chinese spy balloons.

The Washington Post claims one of the balloons went above a US carrier strike group in the Pacific. The news organization studied classified papers indicating that another Chinese vessel, codenamed Bulger-21 by US officials, completed a round of the globe between December 2021 and May 2022.

jack teixeira leaked documents

According to the Washington Post, it is unclear if the balloons known as Bulger-21 and Accardo-21, which both fell and soared over the carrier strike group, were the same ones. The records also make reference to a fourth balloon that collapsed in the South China Sea.

The documents also reveal that Killeen-23 was the codename for the balloon that flew over the continental United States in January and February before it was shot down off the coast of South Carolina.

According to a US official quoted by the media outlet, the naming pattern for such balloons follows the alphabet, suggesting that further instances of Chinese spy balloons being discovered may occur. American mobsters Tony Accardo, James “Whitey” Bulger, and Donald Killeen appear to be memorialized in the names of the balloons.

The US government has not yet determined the function of all the sensors and antennas aboard the craft that was shot down on February 4, according to documents that Teixeira purportedly shared with members of a private Discord group.

The downed balloon was equipped with high-tech reconnaissance capabilities, according to a document published by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency on February 15. These capabilities included radar that could see at night and pierce clouds, dirt, and other thin materials.

The solar panels on the vehicle were estimated to provide around 10,000 watts of power, which is more than enough to run any form of monitoring equipment.

The documents reveal that both Bulger-21 and Accardo-21 were equipped with advanced monitoring technology during their circumnavigations of the world. The United States believes the Chinese firm Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group, which was blacklisted following the balloon incident in February, designed and built Bulger-21.

According to the classified documents, some members of the Chinese government likely did not anticipate the balloon to trespass into US airspace (based on intercepted communications), and the Foreign Ministry’s response to the “sensationalized” incident was criticized by others.

The 21-year-old is accused of illegally making copies of and sending sensitive defense documents. An FBI agent claims in an unsealed document that Teixeira had top-secret clearance since 2021 and continued to have sensitive compartmented access to additional highly classified systems until at least this past Friday.

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