Image credit: Master Sgt. Ken Hammond, U.S. Air Force/DoD

April 15, 2023

Why Alleged Pentagon Leaker Jack Teixeira Had Top Secret Access Aged 21

Featuring Alexandra Seymour

Source: BBC

Journalist Mike Wendling

"It is fairly commonplace for individuals of his age to have access to classified information," says Alexandria Seymour, an associate fellow at the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security think tank.

Around half of active-duty enlisted members of the US military are aged 25 or younger, according to Department of Defence statistics.

While the exact details of Mr Teixeira's job are still emerging, Ms Seymour says it's possible that his work may have required access to a wide range of intelligence documents.

"Often people at his level are supporting senior leaders, and he might have a 'need to know' if he was prepping senior leaders or putting together briefing books," she says.


And ultimately, Ms Seymour says, the intelligence system relies on the people handling the data.

"It does raise questions about how we are training individuals on how to handle classified information," she says. "It's exposing gaps in the system that will be looked at…but there's also a level of trust that you place in these individuals, that they are there for the right reasons."

Read the full story and more from BBC News.


  • Alexandra Seymour

    Former Associate Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Alexandra Seymour was an Associate Fellow for the Technology and National Security Program at CNAS. Her work focuses on artificial intelligence, defense innovation, semiconduc...