Airman charged as US vows to send message over documents leak

A young national guardsman was charged Friday with orchestrating the most damaging leak of US classified documents in a decade, as the government signaled it intends to make an example of the 21-year-old.

Jack Teixeira was arrested Thursday following a week-long probe into the leak of documents -- which unveiled US concern over Ukraine's ability to fend off the Russian invasion, and showed Washington has spied on allies Israel and South Korea.

It is the biggest such breach since the 2013 dump of National Security Agency documents by Edward Snowden and raises tough questions about junior staffer Teixeira's access to high-level secrets.

Teixeira, who wore a beige jumpsuit and appeared glum at his first court appearance in Boston, was charged with the "unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information."

He is also accused of the "unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material." The counts carry maximum prison sentences of 10 years and five years, respectively.

At one point during the short hearing, his father shouted out, "We love you Jack," to which Teixeira responded: "Love you too, Dad."

He was not required to enter a plea and was held pending a detention hearing set for next Wednesday.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland said there were "very serious penalties" associated with the crimes.

"People who sign agreements to be able to receive classified documents acknowledge the importance to the national security of not disclosing those documents, and we intend to send that message (about) how important it is to our national security," Garland added.

US President Joe Biden said in Ireland, where he was traveling, that he had ordered the Pentagon "to make sure...

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