Alleged leaker Teixeira's unit ordered to halt intelligence mission, Air Force says

WASHINGTON, April 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force's 102nd Intelligence Wing, which the alleged leaker of classified information belonged to, has been ordered to halt its intelligence mission as the service's inspector general carries out an investigation, the Air Force said on Tuesday.

The Air Force said all units would also have to carry out a "security-focused standdown" sometime in the next 30 days.

Jack Teixeira has been charged with unlawfully copying and transmitting classified material after being accused of leaking top secret military intelligence records online.

The leaked documents are the most serious U.S. security breach since more than 700,000 documents, videos and diplomatic cables appeared on the WikiLeaks website in 2010.

"The 102nd Intelligence Wing is not currently

performing its assigned intelligence mission," Air Force Spokesperson Ann Stefanek said in statement.

The Air Force inspector general would investigate the unit's "compliance with policy, procedures, and standards...related to the release of national security information," Stefanek added.

The 102nd Intelligence Wing, which is based in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, says on its website its mission is to provide "worldwide precision intelligence and command and control along with trained and experienced airmen for expeditionary combat support and homeland security."

Since May 2022, Teixeira had been serving as an E-3/airman first class in the Air National Guard and had Top Secret security clearance.

If the accusations against Teixeira are correct, the Air Force will be under pressure to explain how he could have smuggled and disseminated highly classified intelligence for months without being noticed.

Reuters has reviewed more than 60 of the documents, labeled "Secret" and "Top Secret," but has not independently verified their authenticity. The number of documents leaked is likely to be over 100.

Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Thomson Reuters

National security correspondent focusing on the Pentagon in Washington D.C. Reports on U.S. military activity and operations throughout the world and the impact that they have. Has reported from over two dozen countries to include Iraq, Afghanistan, and much of the Middle East, Asia and Europe. From Karachi, Pakistan.

Thomson Reuters

Phil Stewart has reported from more than 60 countries, including Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and South Sudan. An award-winning Washington-based national security reporter, Phil has appeared on NPR, PBS NewsHour, Fox News and other programs and moderated national security events, including at the Reagan National Defense Forum and the German Marshall Fund. He is a recipient of the Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence and the Joe Galloway Award.