The Chicago Journal

Jack Teixeira caught by the FBI for leaking documents

Jack TeixeiraOn Thursday, the FBI captured Jack Teixeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard.

According to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Teixeira is related to the disclosed private data that has been making the rounds online.

The arrest

The arrest of Jack Teixeira comes after a quick investigation by US officials into the identity of the person who exposed personal information to Discord, a popular social networking site for video game players.

According to Garland, Teixeira was caught without incident in Massachusetts.

In addition, he will face accusations in federal court in that city.

“The investigation is ongoing,” said Garland. “We will share information at the appropriate time.”

Jack Teixeira will appear in court in Boston on Friday, according to the US Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, the FBI announced Teixeira’s arrest at his home in North Dighton, Massachusetts, for his participation in the leak of sensitive US government and military material.

“The FBI is continuing to conduct authorized law enforcement activity at the residence,” said the agency.

“Since late last week, the FBI has aggressively pursued investigative leads, and today’s arrest exemplifies our continued commitment to identifying, pursuing, and holding accountable those who betray our country’s trust and put our national security at risk.”

The leaked material, which included detailed intelligence assessments of allies and foes, was extensively disseminated on social media.

Some of the documents also exposed the realities of the Ukraine war and the roadblocks that brought Kyiv and Moscow to a halt.

Search for the suspect

Several US intelligence agencies think Jack Teixeira is the leader of a group that is disseminating classified information over social media.

Thousands of people with access to the news began seeking for the perpetrator.

However, using information gained in the days following the discovery of the sensitive material by US authorities, investigators quickly narrowed the search to possible chat group members.

Despite the fact that the documents were accessed by several people, the forensic trail left by the leaker allowed police to narrow down the possibilities.

According to a US government source familiar with the case, Jack Teixeira had been under FBI monitoring for many days prior to his arrest on Thursday.

Biden’s update

Early Thursday, President Biden appeared to imply that the government was close to apprehending the leaker.

According to a US source, Biden found out about his detention between his speech to parliament and his departure for a gala banquet at Dublin Castle.

Biden stayed at the hotel for over 90 minutes between the two events.

According to the officials, the US president was briefed on the inquiry and his senior staff’s efforts to connect with allies listed in or affected by the content of the stolen papers.

According to another source, the issue has persisted during Biden’s deeply personal and important overseas trip.

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Details on the leaker

Following his imprisonment, Airman 1st Class Jack Teixeira’s service information were disclosed by the Air Force.

Teixeira is an Air National Guard soldier from Massachusetts.

In September 2019, he began his official Cyber Transport Systems journeyman post.

Employees of Cyber Transport Systems, according to the Air Force, ensure the effective operation of the service’s global communications network.

The leaker, according to the Washington Post, worked on a military website and shared crucial national secrets with an internet network of friends.

A buddy of the leaker characterized him as a lonely young man and gun enthusiast who joined a Discord group with over two dozen other people who shared a love of weapons and military gear.


Several of Jack Teixeira’s former high school classmates were interested in the military, firearms, and violence.

Teixeira would occasionally sneak into school with a hefty book about firearms, behaving in ways that made other students uncomfortable.

“A lot of people were wary of him,” said Brooke Cleathero, a middle school and high school classmate.

Another classmate, John Powell, recalls Teixeira as a pleasant and quiet young man who was occasionally made fun of.

“He didn’t have many friends,” said Powell.

According to public records, Jack Teixeira grew up in the Providence suburbs.

He graduated from Dighton-Rehoboth High School in 2020.

Powell remembers Teixeira occasionally pulling a military vehicle textbook.

“He was dead set on joining some branch of the military, even as a kid,” said Powell.

Other students who requested anonymity stated Jack Teixeira created a scary environment and made disparaging remarks about others.

Following the horrific massacre in Las Vegas in 2017, one student claimed to have arrived at school wearing AR-15-themed clothing.

While Teixeira’s actions did not need reporting, they did raise concerns among many others.

Meanwhile, another student mistook his military interest with American nationalism, which astonished her when the claims became public.

“I didn’t think he would be capable of doing something like this,” she said.

On Thursday, Biden expressed alarm about the leaks but was unconcerned about the content.

“I’m not concerned about the leak,” said the US president.

“I’m concerned that it happened, but there’s nothing contemporaneous that I’m aware of that is of any consequence.”

Mike Pence joins Trump and Biden in holding documents

Mike Pence: Over a dozen pieces of classified documents were discovered at the former vice president’s Indiana home last week by a lawyer working on his behalf.

People familiar with the matter claim that the attorney gave the FBI the papers.

Since then, the National Security Division of the Justice Department and the FBI have taken it upon themselves to review the information.

They are also looking into how the files ended up at Mike Pence’s house in Indiana.

The news

The classified papers were found at Pence’s Carmel, Indiana, residence.

It comes after the discovery of confidential documents in President Joe Biden’s residence and office.

Mike Pence argued strenuously that he possessed any classified data before the information was discovered.

The contents of the documents and their level of confidentiality are not yet disclosed.

When Pence’s staff heard about the documents on Tuesday night, they immediately informed the appropriate congressional leaders and committees.

Out of a sense of prudence, the former vice president requested that his lawyer, who was familiar with confidential information, visit his home.

Lawyer Matt Morgan allegedly found a few papers marked “classified” last week while going through four boxes at Pence’s house.

They advised the National Archives of their discoveries, who subsequently informed the Justice Department.

The pickup

When the FBI sought to relocate the records that evening, Mike Pence reportedly consented, according to his attorney.

On Monday, his legal team returned the boxes to Washington, DC, and gave them to the Archives for examination in accordance with the Presidential Records Act.

According to a letter by Greg Jacob, Mike Pence’s representative at the Archives, a small collection of documents were unintentionally packaged and shipped to Pence’s residence.

“Vice President Pence was unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence,” wrote Jacobs.

“Vice President Pence understands the high importance of protecting sensitive and classified information and stands ready and willing to cooperate fully with the National Archives and any appropriate inquiry.”

The boxes

According to sources, Pence’s temporary house in Virginia is where the packages holding the sensitive documents were held before being shipped to Indiana.

The boxes were taped, even though they weren’t kept in a safe place.

According to Pence’s attorney, there was no sign that the things had been opened.

The documents were kept in a safe inside the residence when they were discovered.

The former Vice President’s advocacy organization’s Washington, DC, headquarters, according to the lawyer, are the subject of an investigation.

However, no additional records could be found.

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Biden and Trump

The investigation on Joe Biden and Donald Trump was the same that resulted in the revelation of Mike Pence’s possession of sensitive documents.

Rumors that he is getting ready to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 coincide with the statement.

In August 2022, the FBI filed a search warrant and examined Trump’s Florida home.

Vice President Mike Pence asserted that he didn’t have any classified information at that time.

“No, not to my knowledge,” said Pence.

He was again questioned about whether or not he had carried any documents home in November.

He claimed not to have.

“Well, there’d be no reason to have classified documents, particularly if they were in an unprotected area,” Pence explained.

“But I will tell you that I believe there had to be many better ways to resolve that issue than executive a search warrant at the personal residence of a former president of the United States.”

VP residence and White House boxes

When Mike Pence declared his departure as vice president, the process was drawn out.

They went through every single Presidential Records Act-covered document, both classified and unclassified, and turned it in.

The procedure was avoided since the vast bulk of the papers and Pence’s personal files were located apart from his home.

He maintains a secure area at his home near the US Naval Observatory in Washington where he processes sensitive information.

As the Trump administration drew to a close, some boxes at the Indiana residence were packed from the vice president’s residence, while others arrived from the White House.

Effect on Biden situation

The documents discovered at Mike Pence’s residence mark the third instance of a president or vice president hoarding classified material inappropriately after leaving office.

The mishandling of classified documents by Biden and Trump is currently under investigation by special counsels.

A source claims that Pence’s most recent discoveries point to a structural issue with the Presidential Records Act and classified materials.

The FBI searched Biden’s Wilmington home on Friday in search of further important documents..

When Biden’s attorneys discovered classified info in his private office in November 2022, they conducted the search.

The defense team for Biden highlighted that they are working with the Justice Department and attempting to distinguish their client’s position from that of Trump.

The news from Tuesday is good for Biden’s allies and government officials.

“It turns down the temperature on this being a Biden-only story,” said one official.

They expressed anticipation that the Mike Pence records would show that Biden’s staffers weren’t the only ones to improperly pack sensitive information.

Extremist group in the US: 2 members charged

Extremist groupOn Monday, two persons were charged with conspiring to assault the city of Baltimore, Maryland’s electrical infrastructure.

Federal authorities’ court filings claim that a neo-Nazi leader planned to assault electrical substations with a woman he was seeing.

They went for the neighboring facilities in an effort to completely destroy Baltimore.

What happened

The Justice Department filed charges against Sarah Beth Clendaniel and Brandon Clint Russell for conspiring to destroy the electrical grid.

Allegations state that the plan against Maryland on the grounds of race or ethnicity was supported by extreme ideologies.

The two allegedly sought to “inflict maximum harm on the power grid,” according to Tom Sobocisnki, the director of the FBI field office in Baltimore.

“The accused were not just talking, but taking steps to fulfill their threats and further their extremist goals,” said Sobocisnki.

The accusations follow domestic experts’ cautions that extremist groups are attempting to attack power facilities more frequently.

Extremist groups attacking

Two bullets were fired at a power substation in Moore County, North Carolina, in the second part of 2022.

The attack resulted in the loss of energy for 45,000 homes and businesses.

Experts believe that domestic extremist groups may already be preparing other assaults of this nature.

It follows a November FBI warning, the aim of which is still unknown, which cautioned that extremist groups posed a threat to incite societal instability and urge further slaughter.

“This typically primitive style attack equals millions of dollars in damage,” said former US Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection Brian Harrell.

“If you were to shoot some very key components, you can quickly create an effect where this large multimillion transformer becomes essentially a paperweight.”

According to the Department of Energy, there were 25 violent assaults on US power plants in 2017.

In addition, 57 complaints of suspicious behavior and 80 vandalism incidents were documented.

With six violent attacks, two sabotage complaints, 32 reports of suspicious behavior, and 52 acts of vandalism, the statistics reflect an increase from 2021 reports.

Most of the reports most likely originate from members of extremist groups.

Court appearance

Monday afternoon in Baltimore’s downtown, District Court Judge Richard Collins received Sarah Beth Clendaniel for the first time.

She shook her head as she went over the allegations against her in order to prepare for the hearing.

Kirstin Hopkins, Clendaniel’s court-appointed attorney, cooperated with the government’s request to keep the defendant locked up while awaiting more hearings.

Read also: Mike Pence joins Trump and Biden in holding documents

She will presumably enter a plea during a subsequent court appearance.

On February 15, her case will also get a preliminary hearing.

Brandon Clint Russell’s initial court appearance was planned for Monday in Orlando.

However, there is presently no updated information surrounding his hearing.


Clendaniel is accused of telling FBI informants during discussions that were taped in January that the facilities were the subject of a scheme to destroy the whole city.

According to the charge documents, she and Russell allegedly supplied the source the facility information.

Brandon Clint Russell also allegedly supplied them a YouTube video of the attack on the North Carolina substation, the informant claimed.

In addition, he is said to have started a neo-Nazi group in his community.

Authorities claim that before planning to target the electrical grid in Maryland, he and his roommates planned a similar attack in Florida.

After a roommate looked into the 2017 murders of two of his roommates, evidence of the alleged conspiracy was found.

Officials stated that Russell and Clendaniel were involved in a real-life and online connection at the news briefing on Monday.


Russell has been in touch with the FBI insider using the name “Homunculus” since June 2022, according to the Justice Department.

Over the course of the next months, he is said to have discussed starting an assault on crucial infrastructure with the source multiple times.

The source and Homunculus talked about Mylar balloons at one point.

He allegedly described additional possible attacks on electrical substations and added that punching holes in transformers is “the greatest thing somebody can do.”

“Something worthwhile”

As “Nythra88” and “Kali1889,” Sarah Beth Clendaniel allegedly introduced herself to the FBI source in January.

She allegedly informed the source that she wanted to do something meaningful before passing away from a devastating disease, per the charging paperwork.

She asked for assistance to get firearms.

According to the source, Homunculus and Clendaniel briefed them about their plans to attack power plants.

According to the allegations made by the prosecution, the source recorded a voice conversation that lasted more than two hours on January 24.

Clendaniel sent the informant a message five days later stating that they will target the facilities near Baltimore.


The court papers showed that the two extremist group members had been in contact since at least 2018, while they were both incarcerated at different facilities.

Following his admission to carrying an unregistered device and illegally storing explosive materials, Russell was given a 60-month term in January 2018.

According to court records, his roommate and their other two roommates were informed that he was the group’s leader at the time.

The roommate said that the group intended to strike major US infrastructure including a nuclear plant and electrical wires near Alligator Alley (around Interstate 75).

Court records state that after killing the other two roommates for harassing him for switching from neo-Nazi ideology to Islam, the roommate was questioned by police.

At the time of his release in the newly reported case, Russell was on supervised release.

Clendaniel’s record revealed a number of violations when he was being held in custody in 2006, including an armed robbery at a convenience store using a huge butcher knife.

She received a five-year jail term.

Apple upgrades iCloud security for user safety

Apple: On Wednesday, the tech giants announced plans to expand end-to-end data encryption to strengthen user data protection.

The extension covers backups, photos, notes, chat history and other services.

However, Apple’s plan will increase tensions with law enforcement agencies around the world.

The expansion

The new security tools add a new feature called Advanced Data Protection.

It allows users to protect specific data from hackers, government, spies and Apple data leaks.

Additionally, the extension will prevent law enforcement from accessing the data.

Apple’s end-to-end encryption ensures that even the platform cannot access the data.

Only the sender and the recipient have access to the data.

Previous clashes

As a result, the tech giant cannot honor requests to disclose data stored in the cloud to investigators.

Apple previously butted heads with law enforcement over attempts to access device data.

An instance came when the FBI tried to break into the iPhone of one of the shooters from the 2015 attack in San Bernardino, California.

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Apple recently made privacy an essential pillar of user pitch through a mix of new tools, including a feature to protect journalists and human rights activists from spyware.

The company has framed the expansion as part of its efforts to combat increasingly complex threats to user data from hackers and a spike in data breaches.

Privacy groups have been urging Apple to increase encryption for iCloud backups for years.

Craig Federighi is the senior vice president of software engineering at Apple.

He spoke to the Wall Street Journal about some of the steps the company took more than a decade ago in designing iCloud and how it encrypts its data needed to build to date.


Apple published a blog post stating that iCloud already protects 14 categories of sensitive data with standard end-to-end encryption.

Categories include Passwords in the iCloud keychain and Data Health.

It also adds nine more categories.

However, due to interoperability issues, the new list doesn’t include encryption for iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendar.

Read also: TikTok a security concern according to FBI


Matthew Green, cryptographer and associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute, believes Apple’s move will raise the standard for others to improve encryption.

On Wednesday, he tweeted:

“Why is this a big deal? Because Apple sets the standard on what secure (consumer) cloud backup looks like.”

“Even as an opt-in feature, this move will have repercussions all over the industry as competitors chase them.”

Meanwhile, the FBI released a statement indicating that it is still concerned about the end-to-end thread and user access-only encryption.

“This hinders our ability to protect the American people from criminal acts ranging from cyber-attacks and violence against children to drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism,” said the FBI.

“End-to-end and user-only-access encryption erodes law enforcement’s ability to combat these threats and administer justice for the American public.”


Apple plans to expand encryption of iCloud data

TikTok a security concern according to FBI

TikTok: FBI Director Chris Wray has warned people about the popular short video-sharing app and national security concerns.

Wray reminded people that TikTok, a Chinese-owned company, is run by a government that doesn’t share the same values as the United States.

The news

On Friday, Chris Wray raised nationwide concerns about the app.

He revealed that the FBI is concerned with the Chinese control of the app’s recommendation algorithm.

Having control allows the Chinese to manipulate the content and use it to influence operations.

Additionally, Wray says China may use TikTok to harvest user data for traditional espionage operations.


Chris Wray’s warning came at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan last week.

“All of these things are in the hands of a government that doesn’t share our values and that has a mission that’s very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States,” Wray told audiences.

“That should concern us.”

Moreover, the concerns expressed by the FBI director are similar to those raised during his congressional appearances in November.

Finally, Wray shared that it is part of an ongoing conversation in Washington.

Read also: TikTok one of the few tech companies to continue hiring


The Trump administration previously threatened to ban TikTok in 2020 due to concerns about China’s influence.

Additionally, the administration pressured ByteDance to sell the app to a company in the United States.

Finally, US officials and TikTok are in talks for a deal to resolve the US security woes.

According to Wray, the process is taking place across US government agencies.


Brooke Overwetter, a TikTok spokeswoman, released a statement via email saying:

“As Director Wray has previously said, the FBI’s input is being considered as part of our ongoing negotiations with the US Government.”

“While we can’t comment on the specifics of those confidential discussions, we are confident that we are on a path to fully satisfy all reasonable US national security concerns and have already made significant strides toward implementing those solutions.”

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The company

Beijing-based ByteDance owns TikTok.

The statement from Friday said it was a private company.

It is also a reminder that TikTok is an American company bound by American laws.

During a Senate hearing in September, TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas answered questions from both sides.

She concluded that the company protects all US user data, noting that Chinese government officials do not have access to it.

“We will never share data, period,” said Pappas.


FBI director raises national concerns about TikTok

Documents taken from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home to remain sealed

On Monday, federal prosecutors asked a judge to withhold a key document related to the FBI’s search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

After investigating former President Donald Trump, federal prosecutors said the document contained “highly sensitive information” that could compromise national security investigations.

The request came three days after the federal judge released the search warrant along with other documents detailing key details of the raid.

The Department of Justice refuses to publish the affidavit

Last week, Attorney General Merrick Garland said he personally endorsed the warrant and supported its disclosure of “substantial public interest in this matter.”

On Monday, however, the Justice Department denied requests for affidavits in support of the search warrant.

They explained that this “presents a very different set of considerations.”

In the U.S. District Court in Florida, federal prosecutors wrote:

“There remain compelling reasons, including to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security, that supports keeping the affidavit sealed.”

The affidavit contains “critically important and detailed investigative facts,” according to the filing signed by Jay Bratt, director of counterintelligence and export controls for the Department of National Security.

The facts include “highly sensitive information about witnesses, including witnesses interviewed by the government; specific investigative techniques; and information required by law to be kept under seal” under federal regulations as drafted by prosecutors.

“If disclosed, the affidavit would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course, in a manner that is highly likely to compromise future investigative steps,” the filing wrote.

“In addition, information about witnesses is particularly sensitive given the high-profile nature of this matter and the risk that the revelation of witness identities would impact their willingness to cooperate with the investigation,” the prosecutor added.

Prosecutors said they were considering releasing a heavily redacted version of the affidavit, but ultimately concluded that “the redactions necessary to mitigate harms to the integrity of the investigation would be so extensive as to render the remaining unsealed text devoid of meaningful content.”

Raid Results

The search warrant and title deed were opened on Friday, revealing more behind Trump’s search of the home.

However, it also raised more questions about the federal investigation into the former president.

According to the documents, the FBI received 20 boxes of items and other documents, including several sets of top secret and classified documents.

Under the search warrant, officers were looking for documents related to three criminal laws, including one that is part of the Espionage Act.

A law governing the removal or destruction of government documents carries the penalty of “disqualified from holding any office under the United States” under the law.

Meanwhile, none of the three statutes (US Code Title 18, Sections 793, 1519, and 2071) are based on whether or not the documents are classified.

Earlier on Monday, Trump announced on his social media platform that the FBI had seized three of his passports, including an expired one, during the raid. Relation:

The Justice Department asks the judge to keep the sworn statement of Trump’s search warrant sealed to protect national security investigations.


DOJ urges judge to keep Trump search warrant affidavit sealed to protect national security investigation

Donald Trump confirms the FBI investigated his Florida home for a document investigation

The FBI executed a search warrant on Monday at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to investigate the handling of presidential documents.

According to CNN, the investigation includes confidential documents that three people familiar with the situation believe could have been brought to the area.

Trump confirms FBI presence

The former US president’s social media confirmed that “a large group” of federal agents broke into his Florida residence in an “unannounced raid”.

Trump also said, “They even broke into my safe.”

“My beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” he said in a statement.

“These are dark times for our nation. Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before.”

Trump was not present when officers arrived and were seen exiting Trump Tower in New York.

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The Department of Justice

The decision to raid the home of a former president raises the stakes for the Department of Justice.

The crackdown also marks the start of Trump’s legal troubles, which are piling up on multiple fronts.

Trump is expected to announce that he will submit another bid for the 2024 White House in a few months.

It is now known that the Department of Justice has two active investigations related to the former president: one into the attempted cancellation of the 2020 and January 6, 2021 presidential elections, and the other into the handling of classified documents.

The search

The FBI raid began early Monday morning, with law enforcement focused on searching Trump’s offices and personal quarters.

The search examined where the documents were kept and where the boxes containing the objects were.

The FBI must have verified on Monday that nothing had been forgotten.

Eric Trump, the former president’s son, told Fox host Sean Hannity that the raid was carried out “because the National Archives wanted to, you know, corroborate whether or not Donald Trump had any documents in his possession.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s attorney Christina Bobb said the FBI seized the documents.

“President Trump and his legal team have been cooperative with FBI and DOJ officials every step of the way,” said Bobb.

“The FBI did conduct an unannounced raid and seized paper.”

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Trump supporters talk about the situation

The search posts sparked a backlash from Trump supporters as a group gathered outside Mar-A-Lago to wave flags and express their anger.

Kevin McCarthy, Republican Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, said:

“I’ve seen enough. The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization.”

Florida Senator Marco Rubio took to Twitter to comment.

“Using government power to persecute political opponents is something we have seen many times from 3rd world Marxist dictatorships,”  he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump said he had cooperated with all relevant government agencies and said the raid on his home was “not necessary or appropriate”.

The former president said it was “prosecutorial misconduct,” adding that the “weaponization of the justice system” is meant to prevent him from running for the White House again.

“Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World countries,” said Trump.

“Sadly, America has not become one of those countries, corrupt at a level not seen before. They even broke into my safe.”


FBI executes search warrant at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago in document investigation

Donald Trump says FBI agents raided his Mar-A-Lago Florida home