Back in April we reported on another unfortunate and alarming case of a gamer spreading classified military documents on the internet, this time involving information related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and therefore spreading far beyond gaming sites into an international mystery investigated by mainstream media and intelligence agencies.
Readers might recall that at the time, reporting traced the leaks to a man named Jack Teixeria, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard who stands accused of sharing intel on a right-wing conspiracy theory Discord server, which then spread to a Minecraft server, but now a new expose from the New York Times traces Texeira’s leaks back even further to – you guessed it – a fan Discord for War Thunder.
The Gray Lady combed through over 9,500 posts from Texeira in the Discord, which once again showed the Airman as someone who reveled in the attention that sharing classified intel garnered him while claiming the docs were evidence of a variety of nefarious international plots. Some of Texeira’s final messages before he was arrested also showed him amassing a stockpile of various weapons and claiming he was looking in to mass shootings because it was “cool and fun.”
At the time of this writing, Texeira was scheduled for a detention hearing over the weekend to determine whether he is to remain in federal custody or be placed in the custody of his father.
Readers might remember that when the story broke, War Thunder cheekily “welcomed” Minecraft to the club of players leaking military secrets – a reference to the five different times we know of that War Thunder players used classified intel to win arguments or plead for in-game vehicle balance. However, it would appear that the military battler can now claim a sixth addition to this dubious list, even if by loose association.
We didn't mention this in the NYT piece, but this Discord server is for… War Thunder. Should have known from the start that Teixeira would start posting the classified leaks in a War Thunder server.
(WaPo mentioned this in their new piece on Teixeira from today) https://t.co/6VXGr48WlK
— Aric Toler (@AricToler) May 13, 2023