Massachusetts Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira, 21, had been detained by authorities in connection with a Pentagon document leak, has made his first appearance in United States court Friday as he faced charges regarding the information leak, Al Jazeera reported.
A day after FBI agents raided his family's home in the small town of Dighton, which is located about 30 kilometres (18 miles) east of Providence, Rhode Island, Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts National Guard, made an appearance in federal court in Boston, Massachusetts, on Friday.
Quoting Washington Post, Al Jazeera reported that Teixeira was charged with the retention and transmission of national defence information and willful retention of classified documents. The criminal offences could carry up to 15 years in prison. The federal judge ordered Teixeira to remain in jail. He did not enter a plea.
Pentagon said the leak was a deliberate criminal act
Calling the leak of classified documents online a "deliberate criminal act", Pentagon on Thursday underlined the US continue to review a variety of factors as it relates to safeguarding classified materials.
During a press briefing on Thursday (local time), Pentagon Press Secretary Brigadier General Pat Ryder told reporters, "We continue to review a variety of factors as it relates to safeguarding classified materials -- this includes examining and updating distribution lists, assessing how and where intelligence products are shared and a variety of other steps," according to The Hill.
"I would say, though, that it is important to understand that we do have stringent guidelines in place for safeguarding classified and sensitive information. This was a deliberate criminal act, a violation of those guidelines," he added.
According to Al Jazeera, leaks of classified US documents have revealed key state secrets, including information about Ukraine's plans for a spring offensive, and raised suspicions that the US has been spying on its allies.
In connection with the Pentagon document leaks, Jack Teixeira's arrest was announced by US Attorney General Merrick Garland.