Air Force suspends 2 commanders as suspected leaker due in Worcester court
The Air Force has suspended two commanders at the Cape Cod Air National Guard unit that was the site of one of the largest U.S. intelligence leaks in years.
Meanwhile, the suspect behind the leak, Jack Teixeira, is expected to appear in federal court in Worcester for a hearing on Thursday.
The 102nd Intelligence Wing at Otis Air National Guard Base was already under investigation by the Air Force. Now, two of its commanders are temporarily suspended while that investigation plays out.
"This means that both the squadron's state Air National Guard operational commander and current federal orders administrative commander have been suspended pending completion of the Department of the Air Force Inspector General Investigation," an Air Force spokesperson said in a statement. "The Department of Air Force has temporarily removed these individuals' access to classified systems and information."
The 102nd was already taken off its intelligence mission after Teixeira was arrested at his home in Dighton two weeks ago. He's been in custody since.
The detention hearing will determine whether Teixeira should remain in custody while he awaits charges under the Espionage Act.
Prosecutors say he allegedly took classified documents related to the war in Ukraine and U.S. spy operations, and posted images of them in an online chat group. From there the documents spread to more public sites.
The leak, one of the biggest intelligence breaches in the U.S. years, has rattled the country's allies. It has also raised questions about whether low-level personnel should have access to such sensitive information.
Teixeira hasn't yet entered a plea. He faces up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.